Arsenal won’t ‘break wage structure’ to retain ‘contract rebel’ Walcott

Updated: Oct 09, 2012, 15:12 PM IST

London: Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has warned contract rebel Theo Walcott that they won’t succumb to his wage demands even if it means the England international leaves the club as a free agent.

Walcott is in the final season of his current deal and has turned down an offer of around 75,000 pounds a week.

The England winger wants to earn more money for his image rights, with Arsenal often using him as their poster boy when promoting the club, but the Gunners are still playing hardball with the 23-year-old.

It is believed boss Arsene Wenger is refusing to pick Walcott for his starting eleven until he agrees a new contract.

Despite looking sharper than ever, Walcott’s only start in the Premier or Champions League was on the opening day of the season, in a goalless home draw with Sunderland.

Hill-Wood insists that the club will not break their wage structure to pay Walcott what he wants

“We have got our general overall wage structure and we are not prepared to break it for anybody. We have made an offer which he didn’t think was acceptable and that is the end of it. We think it is a very reasonable offer,” a leading daily quoted Hill-Wood, as saying.

“For the moment his people are still talking to us and we hope it will be resolved. But don’t ask me when, because I haven’t a clue,” he added.

“I hope that he will eventually come round and sign. It will be a pity if he does not, but the whole issue of pay for footballers has got totally out of hand and they don’t get terribly well advised a lot of the time,” he said.