Man Utd, Arsenal in Nani, Walcott swap option

Theo Walcott suddenly in big demand

Liverpool may have to battle Manchester United in January to lure Arsenal's hat-trick hero Theo Walcott in the League Cup miracle at Reading.

Sir Alex Ferguson may have the edge over Brendan Rodgers in the Walcott deal simply because he has a player he could offer Arsene Wenger in a swap deal that suits both teams.

It might be game over for Nani at Old Trafford come January and the chance to link up with Robin Van Persie again might tempt Walcott to look at Old Trafford.

A Walcott for Nani swap might also interest Wenger, simply because he is now a winger-attacker short with Gervinho out.

Walcott may not get his central striker role at Old Trafford, but he will certainly get first team action.

Ferguson’s belief in Nani was left in the doldrums after Manchester United's extra-time defeat to Chelsea in the League Cup fourth round clash at Stamford Bridge.

The Portuguese winger has failed to agree a new deal with United.

Ferguson was left frustrated at Nani's failure to keep the ball in the final minutes of normal time.

From the resulting counter-attack Chelsea won a penalty - converted by Eden Hazard - and forced the tie into extra time. The Londoners eventually won 5-4.

Nani had earlier scored in the game, but it was the loss of the ball that Ferguson was focusing on after they were knocked out of the competition.

Ferguson said: "We gave the ball away for the third goal. We were in control of the match at that point. We were playing good football and all we needed to do was to keep possession.

"But Nani decided to try and beat a player, lost the ball, and that allowed Chelsea to get at us. I don't know if it was a penalty kick or not but nonetheless...

"(Nani) is experienced but he is an individual; he's a player who wants to beat men and we are not going to discourage him from that, but in that situation, if he had kept the ball near the corner flag, then the game's over."

Walcott has urged his Arsenal team-mates to build on the Reading Capital One Cup victory before heading to Old Trafford.


"Hopefully we can take that into the Premier League," he said. "We were good going forward, but maybe we were not great defensively at times. But we showed everyone what we can do and showed our character."

It will be a bitter blow for Wenger if Walcott follows Robin van Persie in making a high-profile defection to Old Trafford.


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