Emirates and White Hart Lane bosses battle it out for teenage starlet.
Arsenal are ready to take on bitter rivals Tottenham in a bidding war for rising Ipswich star Connor Wickham.
Spurs, who have already had a £5million offer rejected, have upped their bid to £8m and are willing to loan the prodigious 17-year-old back to the Tractor Boys next season.
But Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger is also a big fan of Wickham, whose goals saw England crowned European Under 17 champions in May.
Wickham netted both goals in the semi-final win over France and then the winner against Spain in the final, following up his three goals in four games for Ipswich the previous month.
Wenger is desperate to add firepower to his attack and does not want to lose out on Wickham, especially to Spurs.
Hard-up Ipswich, whose latest accounts will reveal a debt close to £50m, are under pressure to sell.
They have not made any signings this summer and boss Roy Keane has transfer-listed eight senior stars in an attempt to raise much-needed funds.
But he knows that only by cashing in on Wickham will he be able to target the reinforcements required to turn the Tractor Boys into promotion challengers. (Daily Mail)
Wickham, the youngest first-team player in Ipswich’s history, is regarded in the game as the most exciting young Englishman to emerge since Wayne Rooney.
Being compared to Wayne Rooney can be seen as a blessing or a curse. Being likened to the Manchester United and England goal machine could well up his value to the East Anglia side who are in deep financial trouble but also being dubbed as the new-anything, can be a hell of a burden to fulfil.
Arsene Wenger is known to admire the youngster and the Emirates boss is looking to increase his ‘homegrown’ options ahead of the new Premier League regulation so a bid may well be in the offing for a player who has matured a lot over the past.
The 17 year old has been in incredible form for the England Under 17′ where he has netted nine goals in 13 games and last term managed to take part in 29 matches for the Portman Road club. Roy Keane will not want to lose such a prodigious talent but will also not be able to turn down any significant offers, so a deal that involves a loan back would probably be accepted.