Arsenal are reportedly among a host of Premier League clubs looking to make a late swoop for Southampton centre-back, Virgil van Dijk.
It has now also been reported by Tribal Football that Southampton could be willing to make a late deal, but only if Theo Walcott moves to the south coast as part of a swap deal.
After Van Dijk submitted a transfer request earlier this summer, it attracted the attention of many of the Premier League's top clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. However, he still remains at the St Mary's Stadium.
Despite Liverpool still being favourites for the Dutchman's signature, Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli claims that Arsenal have a better chance of doing a deal:
“Talking about Virgil van Dijk, the deal with Southampton for the Dutch defender is not easy, because the Saints don't have the urgency to sell, so they are free to wait for the right offer and, in the meantime, can afford the luxury of even keeping him out of the squad."
In an attempt to track Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool fans have now crashed a leading aviation-tracking site. You cannot write these things.— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) August 29, 2017
“But Arsenal have the right key to convince Southampton: Theo Walcott has been a target of the Saints for a long time and they will ask Wenger to include the winger in the deal.”
The move would see Walcott return to his boyhood club, which he left for Arsenal in 2006. However since that move the Englishman has failed to live up to the potential that saw him picked for the World Cup before he’d even played a Premier League match.
Walcott has been limited to two substitute appearances for Arsenal this season and has not been a regular starter for Arsene Wenger in recent campaigns. As a result, Walcott moving to St Mary's may not be seen as a huge blow to the Gunners' squad, such that a deal between the two clubs may well be struck.