Theo Walcott could be heading to Goodison Park.
Everton boss Sam Allardyce confirmed on Friday that the Toffees are in talks with Arsenal about signing the England international on a permanent basis.
Walcott, 28, has been linked with loan moves to multiple Premier League clubs but it appears Everton and his former club, Southampton, are the two frontrunners to sign him for a reported $27.2 million.
Speaking ahead of Everton’s trip to Tottenham on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) Allardyce’s comments suggest that Everton are leading the race.
“If that’s at all possible that would be nice. It’s not imminent but negotiations are going on and we’re hoping to negotiate a permanent deal,” Allardyce said. “I don’t get optimistic otherwise I get disappointed. I’ll be very excited and enthused when someone, even if it’s not Theo has signed on the dotted line.
“Theo is not as risky (as new signing Cenk Tosun) because he’s proven. He’s scored 100 goals for Arsenal from wide positions as well as many assists. He has pace which we lack in this squad. We’re short of goals goals so to add power to our goal-scoring would be very important for me – and he’s only 28.”
Walcott hasn’t started a game in the Premier League for Arsenal this season and is well down the pecking order with the Gunners, despite Arsene Wenger stating that he wants him to stay at the club.
The winger signed from Southampton as a 16-year-old in 2006 but injuries have hampered his career and he’s never truly lived up to his early promise under Wenger. He’s not a winger. He’s not a central striker. Walcott is still somewhat of an enigma despite playing 395 games for Arsenal and 47 times for the English national team.
That said, Walcott would add an extra dimension to Allardyce’s new-look attack after Cenk Tosun arrived from Besiktas last week to give the Toffees the target man they’d craved.