THEO Walcott has agreed a two-year deal to remain at Saints beyond the end of this season.

The 32-year-old returned to his boyhood club in October, on loan from Everton.

His contract at Goodison Park is set to expire in the summer, meaning he will become available on a free transfer.

And Saints have moved early to snap up the forward.

Walcott made his first-team debut for Saints aged 16, having come through the academy.

He left to join Arsenal in January 2006 before completing a remarkable return to St Mary's last year.

Since coming back to Saints, Walcott has scored three goals in 22 appearances, most recently netting in Saturday's 3-1 win over Fulham.

“I’m not sure I can properly express how happy I am about this," said Walcott.

"Southampton is a club that means so much to me, and it has been incredibly special for me to have spent this season back at St Mary’s.

"But to now have the opportunity to return for a further two years means such a great deal to me, both personally and professionally.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the club, my teammates and the fans for making me feel so welcome back here, and I can’t wait to continue pulling on the shirt in the next couple of seasons. Hopefully in that time we can make a few more special memories too.

“I would also like to say thank you to everyone at Everton, who have been so good to me throughout my time with the club, and I wish them every success in the future.”