Arsene Wenger says he wants Theo Walcott to stay at Arsenal but cannot give him any guarantees
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 12/01/18 11:41am
Arsene Wenger says he does not want Arsenal forward Theo Walcott to miss out on a World Cup place due to lack of game time.
Walcott was in the Gunners line-up for Sunday's FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest but has not started a Premier League match all season.
Wenger said he wants Walcott to stay but, when asked he if he could give the player any assurances about game time, the manager said: "No, you just cannot do it, because it is not honest.
"We will see. We have a good relationship still and I don't want him to be frustrated or to lose an opportunity to go to the World Cup.
"Theo went to the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and we are now in 2018, and he has not been since [back to the World Cup], for different reasons."
Everton boss Sam Allardyce said on Friday that Walcott would be a "great addition" and that "some negotiations are going on".
But Wenger had no news on a potential deal and said: "I cannot tell you much more.
"Sam Allardyce has made that statement but Theo Walcott is here."
Arsenal are at Bournemouth on Sunday but may again be without Mesut Ozil, who sat out the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with a knee injury and is rated "50-50" by Wenger to feature at the Vitality Stadium.
LISTEN: Transfer Talk
Philippe Coutinho, Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Moura were among the names discussed on the latest episode of Transfer Talk
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is back in the squad following a hamstring injury, while Jack Wilshere, who hobbled off with an ankle issue during Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Chelsea, could also feature on the south coast.
Wenger said on Friday: "Jack [Wilshere] was injured but we had very good news yesterday morning.
"I saw him walking normally, the scan is good. He is not out yet of the game on Sunday, that is positive news.
"We have uncertainty about Ozil. That is 50-50, he will have a test tomorrow."
Pick your dream team for the Champions League final to be the latest £50k jackpot winner.