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Theo Walcott denies money is cause of Arsenal contract delay

Updated: Tuesday, 25 Sep 2012 11:51 | Comments

Walcott: "I'm not the sort of person who's influenced by money. I always make my decisions based on football and only football."
Walcott: "I'm not the sort of person who's influenced by money. I always make my decisions based on football and only football."

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has denied his delay in signing a new contract has anything to do with money but admitted agreeing a deal could be a "slow process".

Manager Arsene Wenger warned last week the club may be forced to sell Walcott - something they appeared close to doing this summer - if an agreement could not be reached before the transfer window reopened.

Talks over extending the 23-year-old's contract, which expires at the end of the season, reached crisis point last month when he rejected a new five-year deal worth £75,000 a week.

It was reported Walcott was holding out for £100,000 a week, but he told ESPN: "That speculation on the money side of it has never been me. That's not me.

"I'm not the sort of person who's influenced by money. I always make my decisions based on football and only football.

"Hopefully, something can be sorted out. I'll just wait for the club to get back to us now and go from there."

"I want to be an Arsenal legend. Thierry [Henry] joined the club when he was 22 and I want to become an Arsenal legend like him" - Theo Walcott

He continued: "It's a slow process. My last contract took over six months to happen. Hopefully, it can be sorted out.

"I've never said I wanted to go, I've always wanted to stay."

Walcott insisted he wanted to become as big an Arsenal icon as Thierry Henry.

It has been suggested Walcott is seeking assurances of more playing time, especially up front.

Wenger converted Henry from a winger to Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer and Walcott, who inherited the Frenchman's number 14 jersey, added: "I want to be an Arsenal legend. Thierry joined the club when he was 22 and I want to become an Arsenal legend like him, playing up front as well, which is a big factor for me.

"I've played on the right wing and had the opportunity to play up front a bit more so I think it's about time."

However, the England star refused to rule out leaving Arsenal completely.

"It's one of those things that happens in the game," he said. "If it comes to it, if the club had to sell me, I'd be disappointed but, like I said, hopefully something can be sorted."

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