Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott | Arsenal & England Wonderkid


Reading FC tried to secure a deal to bring former England international Theo Walcott to the club, but they were unable to convince Southampton to terminate the forward’s contract so that he could end up at the Royals, the Reading Chronicle have reported. Walcott was linked with other Championship clubs on transfer deadline day, including West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City, but the 11pm deadline passed with the 47-cap international still a Saints player.

They weren’t the only second tier outfits to make a play for the 33-year-old though, with Reading keen to add him to their attack, which is lacking depth going into the next few months of the season. With Reading already signing five loan players this summer, a sixth would have meant that one player would miss out on Paul Ince’s matchday squad every game, so the Reading hierarchy tried to convince Southampton to pay Walcott up so they could sign him on a free transfer.

However, they could not make the Saints budge, despite veteran winger Walcott being out of favour at St. Mary’s Stadium, appearing just nine times in the Premier League last season and having not stepped foot on the pitch at all so far in 2022-23. With less than a year remaining on his contract, Walcott could have been paid up by Southampton to let him get some regular game-time in the latter stages of his career.
But it appears that the Saints were not too willing to let go despite being down the pecking order, and if Reading were to have got a deal over the line, then it would have represented a return to familiar surroundings. That is because Walcott is from nearby Newbury, which would have made a switch to Reading potentially appearing, but now it could be one for the January transfer window.
Reading could have done with another forward, with a real lack of depth on the bench thanks to an injury to Yakou Meite and the departure of George Puscas, but they’ll have to go into the free agency market as they lost out on Walcott.