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West Ham plotting summer swoop for Walcott

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Arsenal's Theo Walcott celebrates his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium, in London, Britain, 12 September 2015. PHOTO/EFE

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott celebrates his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium, in London, Britain, 12 September 2015. PHOTO/EFE

LONDON, May 10 – West Ham will offer Theo Walcott regular first-team football in a bid to lure him from Arsenal.

The Hammers want to add to their forward line ahead of next season, with Walcott featuring alongside Michy Batshuayi and Christian Benteke on the club’s wanted list.

Slaven Bilic has an interest in Walcott and is preparing a big-money summer swoop.

Walcott’s future will be up for discussion this summer following a frustrating season that could result in the speedster missing out on England’s Euro 2016 squad, which is named on Thursday.

The 27-year-old has struggled for regular football this season and Bilic is prepared to offer the former Southampton man a prominent role in his plans next season in order to secure his services.

Sources insist the Hammers are yet to make a formal offer for the player, but Arsenal are bracing themselves for a bid.

Walcott, though, is likely to have a number of alternative options going into the summer which could see West Ham miss out.

Despite his lack of action, Walcott, on his day, is still viewed as one of the most potent forwards in the Premier League.

Bilic was in charge of Croatia when Walcott tore their defence apart with a hat-trick for England in a World Cup qualifier in September 2008.

Talks with Marseille over a Sh4.4 billion (£30million) switch for Batshuayi are underway, but the Hammers fear the cost of the deal could prove prohibitive.

Likewise, Tottenham are keen on the Belgium international, which could leave West Ham with an uphill struggle to land the striker given the White Hart Lane club will play Champions League football next season.

A move for Benteke could be more obtainable, however. Liverpool are ready to listen to offers for the forward after he failed to impress manager Jurgen Klopp.

And the Hammers are poised to move for the former Aston Villa star this summer.

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