Arsenal have failed to reach an agreement with England winger Theo Walcott over a contract extension, but talks are ongoing. The 23-year-old, whose contract expires in 2013, wants to stay and is willing to continue negotiations. Walcott, 23, and his representatives had been preparing to continue negotiations beyond Friday’s 11pm transfer deadline on a new deal for the player, having rejected the club’s first two offers. However, despite interest from Manchester City and Liverpool they feel under no pressure to agree to a move away from the club by Friday with so many factors in their favour.
It is understood Walcott has been offered an improved five-year deal worth £75,000-a-week. City have already made it clear they are chasing another winger, after selling Adam Johnson to Sunderland. He has scored 42 goals in 222 appearances and won 28 England caps during his time at the club. Walcott contributed 12 assists in the Premier League last season, many of which were for Robin van Persie. Van Persie moved to Manchester United for £24m on 17 August, three days before Alex Song joined Barcelona. The feeling from Arsenal’s side is that they cannot allow the player to leave for a relatively small compensation next July when his contract expires and he would be entitled to a lucrative Bosman free transfer. That has been the long-held fear at the club and yesterday’s threats to sell him for £11m appears to be a last-ditch move to apply pressure to the player to sign. Arsenal waited until after the campaign began to open dialogue with Walcott’s representatives. They feel they have enough cover in wide positions if he is sold, with Lukas Podolski, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrey Arshavin and 17-year-old Serge Gnabry all available to manager Arsene Wenger. Arsenal would like to keep the player but at the moment the two sides are far apart in their valuation of Walcott’s worth to the club, with the player seeking a £100,000-a-week deal. Arsenal regard that level as too much relative to what he has achieved so far at the club.
Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has been fined £6,000 by the Football Association. In addition to the fine, the 20-year old has been hit with a charge of improper conduct by the governing body after using “a derogatory term” to a Tottenham fan on the internet. The governing body has also charged the former Wolves loanee with improper conduct as well as issuing a warning about the player’s future conduct on the social networking website. According to a statement on the FA website, Frimpong posted a comment “amounting to improper conduct and/or which brought the game into disrepute”. The offending comment also “included a reference to faith”.
The Ghana-born midfielder posted a comment on his official Twitter account on 15 July which read “if you going church today Pray For me Giving today A Miss”. This was met with a response from a Tottenham fan who replied: “I prayed you break your arms and legs”. Frimpong responded by retweeting the post and adding a derogatory term which “included a reference to faith”. Frimpong quickly removed the tweet, but it sparked a debate on the social networking site among supporters of both clubs and did not escape the FA’s attention. Emmanuel Frimpong Arsenal Emmanuel Frimpong is the latest Premier League player embroiled in Twitter controversy. The charge, issued under FA Rule E3, related to controversial comments the 20-year-old made on the social network site. Frimpong made 14 appearances for Arsenal last season before joining Wolves in a spell that was cut short by a knee injury in February. Arsenal last week confirmed the player had been ‘reminded of his responsibilities when representing the club’. On the same day the Premier League revealed new guidelines for social media by players, following consultation with the FA and the Professional Footballers’ Association. Frimpong said: “Just wanna Say didn’t even no the word is offensive as u hear it all the time but u live and learn from ur mistakes Have a gd afternoon.” The term that the midfielder is believed to have posted has been used to identify Tottenham supporters because of the proportion of Jewish supporters at the club.
This week, the FA charged Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand with improper conduct following comments he made on the social media site in reference to Chelsea’s Ashley Cole. The 33-year-old appeared to condone the use of the term ‘choc ice’ in relation to the Chelsea full-back, which is slang for a person that is ‘black on the outside but white on the inside’. A campaign was launched last year by comedian David Baddiel to stamp out use of the word in football chants as it can be viewed as anti-Semitic.