By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal with the option of a 12-month extension, Goal.com understands.
Under the new agreement that runs at least until the summer of 2016, the England international’s salary will climb to around £90,000-a-week, which will be bolstered by top-up bonuses and a multi-million pound signing-on fee.
Last week Goal.com exclusively revealed Walcott had held a final round of talks with boss Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis at the club’s London Colney training base, during which the main details were agreed.
Now it appears the 23-year-old has put pen to paper on a deal which will see his wages rise by at least £30,000-a-week, putting him on par with Arsenal’s top earners.
Walcott has publicly indicated his desire to remain with the Gunners on numerous occasions, where he is popular with fans, staff and his team-mates.
A major stumbling block in talks had been the player’s desire to be given the chance to ply his trade as a central striker in the wake of Robin van Persie’s departure, but Wenger has granted his wish in recent weeks.
The Frenchman can now concentrate on improving his squad. Atletico Madrid striker Adrian and Wilfried Zaha are both likely targets, but Wenger has also this week admitted his interest in Napoli striker Edinson Cavani.
Securing Walcott’s future will be a huge boost to Arsenal after tying fellow Brits Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson to new five-year deals shortly before Christmas.