Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Transfer News: Theo Walcott moves to Everton from Arsenal for £20m | Alexis Sanchez reportedly agrees a four-year deal with Manchester United

Theo Walcott has ended his 12-year association with Arsenal after completing his £20million Everton move.

“I’m very ambitious and I’ve come here because I want the club to push to the next level,” said Walcott.

“With the players that have come in, I feel like the next level can be reached.

“I’m very excited to be starting a new chapter and I felt this was the right place for me to be.

“The manager is very ambitious and I feel like the club is going in the right direction.

“The club has won trophies but I want them to win trophies now. The manager is very hungry and it’s just what I need. I’ve had a couple of chats with him and straightaway I felt that hunger and that desire that he wanted from me. I need that and I wanted that.

“I want to be part of something which he’s building.”

Walcott scored 108 goals for Arsenal, but there has always been a sense he has never fulfilled the potential promised when he moved to the club as a 16-year-old. He admitted some regret at leaving the club, but at 28 wanted a new challenge.

“It felt like it was time for me to move on,” he said.

“It was sad but it’s exciting at the same time and I want to reignite my career and push Everton to win things as they have done before.

“I want to be part of something and I feel like this place will offer me that.”

Manager Sam Allardyce feels Walcott is a statement signature, another sign of Everton competing for coveted names. He is the second major deal in this window following the capture of Cenk Tosun from Besiktas.

“I’m thrilled we’ve been able to secure a player of Theo’s experience and quality,” said Allardyce.

Meanwhile, according to The Telegraph, Another Arsenal player, Alexis Sanchez has agreed a four-year deal with Manchester United.

The report says the deal is worth around £180 million and that Sanchez is now just waiting to find out if Henrikh Mkhitarayn will give the green light on a switch in the other direction to Arsenal, which would trigger his move to Old Trafford.

The 29 year-old will be paid £14m a year after tax - just under £27m a year before tax - to join United, on top of his £30m valuation, £20m signing-on fee, and an agents’ fee worth more than £10m. That all adds up to around £180m for a player who had entered the final six months of his Arsenal contract and goes some way to explaining why Manchester City walked away from negotiations.

Similarly, despite Antonio Conte admitting his admiration of the Chilean, Chelsea, who went close to signing Sanchez last summer, would not match the figures on offer at Old Trafford.

Despite widespread acknowledgment over what a talented player he is, there is astonishment among clubs and agents over the numbers involved in the Sanchez deal. Sanchez is now hoping Mkhitaryan will quickly reach an agreement with Arsenal, although the Armenian wants to become the highest earner at the Emirates.

Having already sold Theo Walcott to Everton for £20m, Arsenal are closing in on a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who wants to leave Borussia Dortmund. Aubameyang is believed to have a verbal agreement to join Arsenal and the Gunners now need to agree a deal with Dortmund, who would ideally like to take Olivier Giroud in the other direction.

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi is another potential target for Dortmund, although the Belgian is keen on a loan move to Sevilla. Arsenal’s interest in Aubameyang and Mkhitarayn has been driven by recently-appointed head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who helped to sign the pair for Dortmund. But the Gunners’ transfer policy has been criticised by former striker Ian Wright, who said: “Everything that is happening is being forced on them through other people.

“Mkhitaryan is not a player Arsenal have been after - he's a player that Arsenal have been handed.

“It's the same with Aubameyang - a couple of years ago, he was on everyone's radar but now he's gone a bit cold. Then all of a sudden, he's on Arsenal's radar - it all feels panicky for me.

“Of course they are both quality players. But if you are losing Sanchez, you need players that will hit the ground running. I'm not sure about Mkhitaryan's state of mind right now.”

Also West Ham United are braced for a bid for Andy Carroll after Chelsea opened talks over a move for the striker, who missed the FA Cup third-round replay with Shrewsbury Town that Reece Burke won with an extra-time goal.

Chelsea are desperate to boost head coach Antonio Conte’s striking options and have made Carroll one of their surprise targets. But Chelsea are also understood to have made approaches for other forwards as they seek to land competition for Alvaro Morata after going three games without scoring.

Sevilla want to sign Michy Batshuayi on loan, but Chelsea will not sanction his release until they get a replacement – either on loan or permanently.

West Ham have made it clear they are not prepared to sanction a loan deal for Carroll, who has 18 months remaining on his £90,000-a-week contract, and Chelsea appear to have taken that on board by signalling their willingness to discuss a permanent move.

Carroll was not in West Ham’s match-day squad for Tuesday night’s FA Cup third-round replay against Shrewsbury and it is believed the 29 year-old is interested in moving to Stamford Bridge. Without Carroll, West Ham could not find a way past Shrewsbury during 90 minutes, but 21-year-old defender Burke netted his first goal for the club in the 112th minute to clinch a fourth-round tie against either Bournemouth or Wigan.

Sources have suggested that West Ham will listen to offers of £20 million for Carroll, but manager David Moyes insisted he had not spoken to the club’s owners over the player’s future.

“Chelsea have not made contact with me,” said Moyes. “If they have made contact with someone else, I don’t know about it. At the moment Andy has an ankle injury. He had an injection 10 days ago and we’re hoping he will be training soon.”

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