Wenger upbeat over Walcott contract

Theo Walcott appears to be inching towards a new Arsenal deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains hopeful Theo Walcott will commit his long-term future to the club but stressed he is not taking the forward's signature for granted.

Walcott's situation has been the subject of continued speculation, with negotiations between the club and player ongoing.

It is understood Arsenal are ready to make the 23-year-old forward one of the highest-paid players at the club with a five-year contract worth around £90,000 each week, which would be boosted by lucrative add-ons.

Wenger said today: "We are on a good road.

"In this situation as long as nothing is signed, you are cautious.

"However, I am optimistic we will get to a happy conclusion."

Arsenal are keen for Walcott to sign before the end of the month, and Wenger said: "Discussions are progressing slowly, but smoothly."

When asked about possible other deals during the transfer window, Wenger said: "We still work on the transfer market, but do not want to bring in average (players)."

Arsenal have been linked with a string of players including Barcelona forward David Villa, and have seen their attacking options hit by the African Nations Cup, as forward Gervinho is away with the Ivory Coast.