Southampton and Everton have made enquiries about the availability of Arsenal forward Theo Walcott during the January transfer window, sources close to the Gunners have told ESPN FC.

Walcott has found his first-team opportunities at Arsenal limited this season, making just four Premier League appearances with most of his outings coming in the cup competitions.

The 28-year-old is frustrated at finding himself on the fringes of Arsene Wenger’s plans at the Emirates and sources have told ESPN FC that Walcott has spoken to the Arsenal boss about his future.

Walcott is in the final 18 months of his contract at Arsenal and the club would prefer to sell him rather than loan him out during this month, but a lot depends on whether Arsenal manage to keep hold of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in January as Wenger does not want to leave himself short of attacking options for the second half of the campagin with the Gunners battling for honours on four fronts.

Southampton and Everton are both waiting to see what Arsenal decide to do with Walcott after making their interest known in the England international.

Walcott started his career at Southampton before joining Arsenal as a teenager in 2006 and they hope that would give them an advantage in the race for Walcott’s signature if Arsenal sanction his departure.

Southampton are looking to bolster their attacking options in January as they aim to climb clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table and they have money to spend following the £75 million sale of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool.

Everton are also in the market for forward reinforcements this month as Sam Allardyce looks to add more goals to his side and he is a long-term admirer of Walcott.