Football - Wenger hopeful of Walcott resolution

Arsene Wenger hopes Theo Walcott will sign a new contract "very soon" after watching the forward bag a stunning hat-trick in the 7-3 hammering of Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium.

PA Sport

Wenger acquiesced to Walcott's desire to play as a striker and the move paid dividends as the 23-year-old banged in three goals and set up two more to secure a morale-boosting win that lifted the Gunners to fifth in the Barclays Premier League.

Walcott turned down a new contract at the end of last season and as it stands he can leave the Emirates Stadium next summer on a free transfer.

But Walcott revealed contract talks with Arsenal are ongoing and Wenger is hopeful the England international will commit his future to the north London club in the near future.

"I've always wanted to sign him and extend his contract and hopefully we can do it very soon," the Arsenal manager said.

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