Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted the that club are doing all they can to keep Theo Walcott at the Emirates Stadium.
And Wenger stressed the ongoing contract wrangle must be settled "one way or another" before the new year.
The England forward took his tally to eight goals for the season with the opening strike in the midweek Champions League draw at Schalke.
It was a rare start for the 23-year-old, who has seen his first-team chances restricted to mostly being utilised as an impact player from the bench.
The player's current deal expires next summer, with his representatives and the club still some distance apart over wages and Walcott also expressing concerns over opportunities in his preferred central role.
If no deal can be brokered before January, Walcott would be able to negotiate a potentially lucrative pre-contract agreement with a foreign club or just hold firm and walk away on a Bosman free.
While Wenger would prefer the situation not to get to that point, t...