The young English winger received a mixed reception when he was brought on as a substitute during Saturday’s 6-1 drubbing of Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.
It comes on the back of Walcott’s decision to stall on a new deal, with the club offering £75 000, while the player is holding out for £100 000. His current contract expires in June 2013, meaning he is free to start negotiating with any suitors from January.
“At the moment, I still hope to extend his contract so, at the moment, it doesn't affect me,” Wenger told Guardian ahead of Arsenal’s opening Champions League clash against Montpellier tonight. “Of course, at some stage … if, in April, it's not done, you can think it will be difficult to do.”
He adds: “You want your players to be supported, no matter what kind of contractual situation they are in. I hope it will not affect him and that it will not affect our fans.”