Football - Walcott: Contract saga was playing on my mind

Theo Walcott is pleased contract talks with Arsenal are finally over after admitting one of the most protracted sagas in Barclays Premier League history was proving a distraction.

PA Sport

Walcott has agreed a new deal believed to last three and a half years, pushing his wages close to £100,000 and ending speculation that another household name would leave the Emirates Stadium.

The 23-year-old, who led Arsenal's fightback in yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea with a clinical finish, admits it was difficult to concentrate while his future remained in doubt.

"For the last three games before Chelsea the contract was sort of done, but it was on my mind and had been for a long time because it was so close," Walcott told Arsenal Player.

"It is difficult to play and block out that side of it, but I tried to do the best I could and hopefully everyone was happy with what I did.

"I always wanted to stay and I am happy that myself and the club have come to an agreement.

"There has been so much speculation and I am very pleased my future is sorted. It is all about the present now."

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