Arsenal F.C. manager Arsene Wenger has advised Theo Walcott to stay at the Emirates Stadium and push for the English Premier League title next term.
The England international, 26, has been linked with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United after failing to agree a new deal with the North Londoners during the season.
Walcott was injured for much of the 2014/15 campaign but regained his fitness in time to net a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion on Championship Sunday and open the scoring as Arsenal lifted the FA Cup on Saturday.
“I don’t see why he should not be here next season,” Wenger said.
“He is a player who was out for a year – January to January – and it took him a while to come back to his best.
“I think he is now at an age where it is very interesting. He now has experience, he’s at the peak physically and it’s time to stay with us.
“I had many, many big decisions to make before the game today. I had to leave big players out of the squad. I had to make difficult decisions to try to find a good balance in the team.
“Walcott was on a high because he scored a hat-trick last week and has come back in good form. Giroud has given a lot to the team since January, but in recent games I think he was a bit jaded and tired.”
After the Gunners’ FA Cup triumph, Wenger insisted he is not looking to rush into the transfer market this summer.
“I’m not in a buying mood tonight,” added Wenger. “I will buy a drink for my players!
“We will see what’s going on in the transfer market. We have a good basis and we have some time now to prepare because we don’t play a qualifier in the Champions League.
“We have a good confidence level. Let’s show we can be intelligent during the summer.
“Of course we can push on. Why not? We have won the league in the past when we had the potential to do it and that’s what we want to do again.”
Arsenal are priced at 3/1 to be Karim Benzema’s next permanent club.
Falcao focused on Copa America
AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao has revealed he is fully focused on the upcoming Copa America amid reports linking the player with a summer move to Premier League champions Chelsea.
Falcao, 29, spent the 2014/15 campaign at Manchester United, tallying a mere four goals and four assists in 26 league appearances.
Despite his lack of success at United, reports are suggesting Jose Mourinho is prepared to offer the Colombia international a route back to England’s top-flight as a replacement for departing Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.
Falcao told AS: “Is my future at Monaco? Right now I’m thinking only about the Copa, there has been a lot of talk but I am relaxed about it. My agent is the one who takes care of all of that.”