Everton are negotiating with Arsenal over a deal to sign Theo Walcott, according to manager Sam Allardyce.

The former England boss says he is a big admirer of Walcott, who has appeared only fleetingly for the Gunners this season.

Earlier in the week Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted Walcott, who has 18 months remaining on his contract, could seek a January transfer window move for more playing time ahead of this summer's World Cup — but a loan to Everton has been ruled out by Allardyce.

"I think you are all aware of our interest in Theo," said the Toffees manager.

"He's scored 100 goals for Arsenal from wide positions. His pace is a key strength which we lack. To add goals would be very important for me. And he's only 28.

"If that is possible to get over the line, I would be delighted but obviously there are negotiations that are happening at the moment.

"If that can all be sorted out, which is one of the most difficult things to do, then that would be a great addition in my opinion to come and join us from an attacking point of view.

"It is a permanent deal we are hoping to negotiate. I don't think there is any chance of a loan."

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​Should Walcott leave Emirates Stadium, many expect forward Alexis Sanchez to follow him out of the exit door. Yet Wenger insists the star forward will only be allowed to leave if Arsenal finds an immediate replacement.

Sanchez's contract expires at the end of this season, yet despite the fact both Manchester City and Manchester United are thought to be keen on his signature, Wenger says "it's the case now" as in the summer that he would need to find a similar player to fill his absence in the squad before agreeing a deal.

"I maintain what I said many times that normally he should stay here until the end of the season," said the Frenchman.

Wenger dismissed suggestions that Bordeaux's Brazilian forward Malcom has been lined up by Arsenal to replace Sanchez.

"He’s a good player, but at the moment nothing is happening," he said. "We are not on that case at the moment."

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