Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has praised Arsenal attacker Theo Walcott amid speculation linking the 28-year-old with a move back to his former club, however has refused to comment on the likelihood of any deal taking shape.
The England international, who came through the ranks with the Saints before completing his move to the Gunners at the age of 16 in 2006, has been hotly tipped with a move away from the Emirates Stadium in January.
Wenger on Theo Walcott: "I want him to stay. I heard about (Southampton links) yes, but personally I want him to stay."— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) January 5, 2018
The pacy forward has struggled to secure regular game time under Arsene Wenger so far this campaign, making just five appearances in the Premier League.
It is thought that Walcott is willing to take a pay cut in order for the deal to be finalised in the quest of securing more appearances, and while Pellegrino refused to rule out a move for the Southampton youth product, the Argentine was reluctant to confirm his side's interest.
"There are many players that we have interest in", the 46-year-old told his pre-match press conference ahead of the Saints' trip to Fulham on Saturday in the FA Cup, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"I can't say anything because, obviously Walcott is an excellent player, but I can't confirm this. We are in the market ready to try to bring somebody that wants to come but I know it will be difficult.
"In January it is not easy to bring in players but the market is huge and I think we will have some opportunities. We have got a couple of targets, four, five, six targets. We have confidence that someone else can come and it will be great for us.
"We are looking for a player that can improve the level of the squad. In the market you never know until the end."