Double blow for Arsenal as Chelsea target Walcott

Blues set to smash £100m barrier during summer recruitment drive

Arsenal could not only lose their talismanic skipper Robin van Persie but also England winger Theo Walcott, according to reports.

Manchester City are waiting patiently to snap up Van Persie who has kept the Gunners in suspense until the end of Euros before committing his future at Emirates.

European champions Chelsea also plan to make a raid at Arsenal this summer by preying on Walcott who is unhappy after contract talks have been delayed since last October.

Chelsea have already agreed to spend £80 million on Eden Hazard, Hulk and Marko Marin as they launch an extravagant summer recruitment drive.

The Blues are ready to break the £100m barrier before the start of next season as they now work on signing a winger, midfield destroyer and reliable right-back, according to a Mirror (http://bit.ly/LTV8CA) exclusive.

Walcott, Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote and Ajax star Gregory van der Wiel are all on Chelsea’s radar as owner Roman Abramovich and technical director Michael Emenalo look to reshape the squad, it added.

Midfielder Hazard last week announced he is set to sign for £32m and a £38m fee has been agreed for Porto’s Brazilian forward Hulk in a serious statement of intent. Marin had already been snapped up for £8m from Werder Bremen.

Abramovich is all out to beef up the squad despite even before the appointment of a permanent manager, in a bid to ensure they are genuine Premier League contenders next season.

They hope to recoup the money through bids for Florent Malouda, Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge.

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