Walcott not distracted by contract situation

Arsenal have yet to tie Theo Walcott to a new contract, but the England forward is confident off-field talks will not prove a distraction.

Theo Walcott insists his contract situation at Arsenal will not be a distraction on the pitch as he prepares for an England double-header.

Walcott enjoyed a fine end to the season at the Emirates Stadium, bagging a hat-trick in a 4-1 rout of West Brom on the final day of the Premier League season before opening the scoring in the 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa in the FA Cup final.

The former Southampton man has flourished playing in his favoured position as a central striker, but doubts remain as to whether he will extend his stay in London with his contract entering its final year and Liverpool reportedly interested in his services.

Walcott stated after the win over Villa that he expects his future at Arsenal to be resolved, and the 26-year-old reiterated that he is relaxed about the situation ahead of England's matches against the Republic of Ireland and next weekend's Euro 2016 qualifying fixture versus Slovenia.

"My club future is absolutely fine. I've been playing and wanting to play well for the club. Now I'm concentrating on England," he told The Daily Mail.

"When it comes to the contract, that's something I'll deal with after. I think it's important to concentrate on the now and these things in the future will get sorted I'm sure. I'll just leave my agent to deal with that side."

Walcott spent the best part of the year on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury against Tottenham in an FA Cup fixture in January 2014.

And he is revelling in his return to form.

"I am buzzing. I scored a goal in an FA Cup final and the manager [Arsene Wenger] had the faith to play me up front, so there's no reason not to be positive," he added. 

"I've taken a slow start getting back, but when you are out for such a long time it's always going to take a while. 

"I was quite patient, waiting for my opportunity, and when I got it I managed to take it. The manager then continued to show faith in me by playing me up top."