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Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Eyeing Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha In Place Of Theo Walcott

By Staff Reporter - Posted: 10/09/12 10:05AM UTC
Arsenal's Theo Walcott

Arsenal's Theo Walcott reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London April 21, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Theo Walcott has been giving a lot of problems to Arsenal even though he continues to be in good form on the field.

Arsenal, who won the title in 2005, came from behind to beat their London rival West Ham United 3-1 Saturday to move into fifth spot on the Premier League table.

And it was Walcott's goal in the 77th minute that provided Emirates Stadium club the much-needed lead in the match that eventually saw them win.

But it's Walcott's off-field activities that are keeping Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger occupied. 

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Walcott's contract with the Gunners is in its final year, but the Winger has been avoiding signing a new one with the club even though he has been offered a lucrative £75,000-per-week deal.

But it is not money that is holding back the 23-year-old winger, it's his playing position. The winger, who is keen on stepping into his icon Thierry Henry's shoes, has been pressing Wenger for the central striker's position.

"With Theo he is confident now in front of goal that he will score. He scored an important one when the game was 50-50," said the manager.

"He has an outstanding attitude and I don't rule anyone out. I believe in him. I do see his position (as a striker) as a his long-term position," added Wenger addressing Walcott's demands. 

In such a scenario, the Gunners are keeping a close watch on Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha. 
According to the Daily Mail, former Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice, who retired from the club this summer, but is still associated with the club, was busy watching Zaha's magic in South London.

The 19-year-old winger scored a brace in Eagles' 4-3 win over Burnley on Saturday. The impressive show helped him earn the man-of-the-match award even as his team secured another npower Championship win, thus continuing with their seven-match unbeaten run.

Now, if the Gunners fail to attract Walcott, they definitely have an option in Zaha. 

Zaha, born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has played for England's under-19 and Under-21 teams in the past. At £12 million, Zaha could be the latest addition to join the Gunners from the lower leagues. 

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