Arsenal are refusing to sell Theo Walcott on the cheap and are holding out for around £30million for the out of favour England star.
Relegation-threatened Southampton are leading the chase for their former star, who has also been the subject of inquiries from Everton and Newcastle.
But Walcott’s £140,000-a-week wages are a problem for the struggling Saints despite selling Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool for £75million this week.
And with doubts still surrounding manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the player is worried about signing for a club who could be in the Championship next season.
Walcott, 28, has not started a Premier League game for Arsenal since April and is open to a move during this transfer window to get his career back on track.
But he still has 18 months to run on his lucrative contract and Arsenal will look for a fee similar to the £35million they received for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Liverpool in the summer.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger recently admitted that he wants Walcott stay, despite him falling out of favour in North London.
Addressing the rumours, he said: “I want him to stay.
“I heard about [a possible exit] but I want him to stay.”
Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was rumoured to replace Walcott, but the French boss has snubbed these claims.
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