Southampton are said to be very optimistic of completing a deal for Arsenal forward Theo Walcott this month.

Saints confident of Walcott deal

Saints confident of Walcott deal

Manager Mauricio Pellegrino has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his squad and Walcott, who left St Mary's for the Emirates in 2006, has been linked with a return to his former employers.

The 28-year-old has struggled for first-team opportunities at Arsenal this season, appearing just five times in the Premier League, and he has been largely restricted to outings in the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup.

With the World Cup taking place in Russia this year, the Stanmore-born star is desperate to get more playing time and a move away from the Gunners this month could provide this.

Southampton have been struggling to find the back of the net this term, with Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini scoring just 10 league goals between them.

One stumbling block could be the reported £25million price-tag on Walcott's head, although the Saints do have £75m to spend following the recent sale of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool.