Arsenal intensifies talks with contract-rebel Theo Walcott as Juventus lurks

Arsenal remain in talks with Theo Walcott over a new contract despite fresh reports linking the winger with a move to Juventus.

With Walcott’s contract due to expire in June, Arsenal must reach an agreement with the England international to ensure he does not walk away from the Emirates in a free transfer.

Walcott s keen to be used in a more central role up front in future, something Arsene Wenger is open to, but they have yet to reach an agreement on a new deal and time is running out.

The transfer window will open on January 1 and unless a deal is reached, Walcott will be free to sign a pre-contract with a rival club.

Wenger insists talks are ongoing but he admits there is nothing new to report just yet. "They are going on. But there is no news," Wenger said.

Juventus are known to hold an interest in Walcott and with the transfer window looming, the Serie A giants are reported to have stepped up their pursuit of the 23-year-old.

Wenger, however, is refusing to panic. "My determination has always been to extend his contract and that other clubs are interested or not the determination is the same," he added.

Walcott has not played for Arsenal since sustaining a chest injury while on international duty with England. He has returned to training and Wenger is hopeful he will be ready to play sooner rather than later.

"He had his first run today and is looking quite well so he should be back shortly," the Frenchman added.