Theo Walcott to join Southampton on permanent deal from Everton with Saints ‘blown away’ by former Arsenal star

Theo Walcott will join Southampton on a free transfer from Everton this summer, talkSPORT understands.

The 32-year-old, who broke on to the scene as a 16-year-old at St Mary’s, has impressed Saints chiefs since rejoining his boyhood club on loan from the Toffees last year.

Southampton have been ‘absolutely blown away’ by Walcott

He has scored two goals and registered three assists in 19 appearances for Southampton this season.

talkSPORT’s transfer guru Alex Crook claims Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is keen to sign Walcott on a long-term contract with his deal at Goodison Park expiring at the end of the season.

Crook told Tuesday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “Theo Walcott is likely to stay at Southampton beyond the end of the season.

“My understanding is there is a big desire from both sides to sign a permanent contract at Southampton.

“It could be a long-term deal as well. We’re not talking about a one-year contract taking him up until the end of next season.

“Southampton have been absolutely blown away by Walcott both on and off the pitch in terms of his performances, his fitness levels, but also the leadership qualities he has shown in the dressing room.

Walcott returned from a two-month injury lay off in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Burnley

“Walcott, for his part, has told be on more than one occasion that he feels like he’s 16 again back at the club where it all started. He’s keen to put down some roots on the south coast.

“This is a deal I’d expect to happen in the not too distant future. Southampton would like to get this one over the line to avoid the possibility of another Premier League club coming in and trying to steal Walcott from under their noses.

“I have to say he’s been absolutely sensational when he’s been fit. He’s just back from a hamstring injury and set up a goal in the 3-2 win against Burnley.

“It’s a deal that will make a lot of sense for both parties and it’s a really exciting prospect.”

Source: Sport

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