Belfast Telegraph

Walcott pace will give Toffees a new dimension, says Allardyce


By Mark Critchley

Theo Walcott underwent a medical at Everton's training ground yesterday ahead of a move worth in the region of £20m.

The Arsenal forward is expected to bring his 12-year-long stay in north London to an end, having joined as a 16-year-old.

Everton boss Sam Allardyce confirmed the Merseyside club's interest last Friday and is now expected to beat Walcott's former club Southampton to his signature.

Everton prioritised reinforcements up front at the start of the January transfer window after a poor season in front of goal so far.

Last week, Besiktas' Cenk Tosun arrived for in a deal worth an initial £21m and Walcott, who has 18 months remaining on his current Arsenal contract, will add more attacking depth.

"Theo's not as risky [as Tosun] because he's proven," Allardyce said.

"He's scored 100 goals for Arsenal from wide positions as well as many assists.

"His pace is one of his key strengths which we lack in this squad. His assists are pretty good as well as his goals.

"We are short of goals so to add power in our goalscoring ability would be very important for me."

Arsenal, meanwhile, are expected to use the funds from Walcott's sale to pursue Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bordeaux's Malcom.

•Mike Ashley has ended the possible takeover of Newcastle United by Amanda Staveley amid claims the talks were "exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time".

Despite Staveley and PCP Capital Partners' interest in buying the club in October of last year, when Ashley officially put it up for sale, a firm enough offer was never tabled.

It is believed Ashley had wanted a figure in excess of £350m for the club he bought from Sir John Hall back in 2007 for £134m.

Talks were believed to have fallen way short, with the highest figure suggested at around the £250m mark, although there were thought to be a series of clauses - including one for relegation - in those talks.

Senior Newcastle figures became increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress in negotiations and were concerned about the validity of the potential bidder. As such, any sale to Staveley has now been called off.

A source close to Ashley has said: "It is only right to let the fans know that there is no deal on the table or even under discussion with Amanda Staveley and PCP."

Belfast Telegraph


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