SAINTS have not been perturbed by Arsene Wenger’s desire to keep Theo Walcott and have continued to pursue a deal to bring him back to St Mary’s.

Arsenal boss Wenger was adamant that he wanted Walcott at the Emirates recently – stating “I want him to stay” at a press conference.

However, Saints, who are keenly chasing January recruits after a £75m cash-injection from the sale of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool, are understood to remain hopeful of bringing the England international in this transfer window.

The 28-year-old played just his 15th game of the campaign for Arsenal in an embarrassing defeat to Championship Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup at the weekend.

It was a poor display from the £100,000-a-week man, but it hasn’t deterred Saints from pressing ahead with trying to capture the attacker, who left the club for Arsenal in 2006.

It is hoped a move for Walcott, which would be certain to make a statement to fans about the club’s ambitions, can galvanise the team’s ailing season – and the player’s too.

Sorry Saints sit outside the relegation zone on goal difference alone and have not won in nine games in the Premier League.

After the poor results, Mauricio Pellegrino has been backed by the club’s chairman Ralph Krueger and the board are planning to show that they are behind the under pressure boss by bringing in new faces this month.

Walcott is certainly top of the list of incomings, while Saints are also in the market for a striker with Guido Carrillo of Monaco the latest to be linked via the French press.

It is uncertain at this stage whether or not Saints are actually pursuing the Argentine, who has netted five times in 22 appearances this season.

Meanwhile, Matt Targett is attracting interest from Fulham.

The Cottagers want the 22-year-old, who almost joined Newcastle United in the summer, on loan.

A deal looks hopeful, with Saints well-stock at left-back.