Arsenal on verge of signing Theo II as they threaten to send old version out on loan


Last updated at 16:29 24 January 2008

Arsenal have tried one teen sensation and he's been found wanting, so Arsene Wenger has marched straight out to recruit another. Gillingham's 15-year-old prospect Luke Freeman is on the verge of signing for the Gunners, the Kent club's chairman Paul Scally has confirmed.

Theo Walcott

The Arsenal boss is considering sending Theo Walcott out on loan until the end of the season after criticising the former Southampton striker last week when he said: "He is not where I would like him to be."

Walcott, now 18, signed for the Gunners in a £5million deal two years ago but has failed to live up to his early promise.

EXCLUSIVE: Read about Theo's loan move here

Scally now expects the Freeman - who will undoubtedly be dubbed 'Theo II' - to complete the formalities of his move over the coming days with a fee in the region of £200,000 the reported cost to the north Londoners.

"We have agreed in principal a deal for Luke to go to Arsenal," said Scally. "We are still waiting on some of the finer details to be concluded but we are confident that it will happen very soon.

"It is a shame for Gillingham to lose a special talent such as Luke but we

cannot stand in the way of such a fantastic opportunity.

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Theo Walcott

"Arsenal have gone about their business in a fair and commendable way so it

was a pleasure to do the deal with them.

"They are a fantastic club and I know that they are the right ones to take

Luke on and make him into a Premiership player."

Freeman became the youngest player to feature in the FA Cup when he appeared as a late substitute for the cash-strapped Coca-Cola League One strugglers against Barnet in the first round back in November.