Emirates Stadium side have apparently already agreed a deal to land teenager.
Arsenal ready to battle Manchester United for Crewe star Max Clayton
The 18-year-old frontman is the latest starlet to roll off the prestigious Crewe production line, making almost 50 appearances so far following his first-team debut in April 2010.
Clayton’s stock has been on the rise ever since, with scouts from Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle all making checks on the player in recent months.
However, Arsenal are now ready to jump the queue when the January transfer window opens, with manager Arsene Wenger being alerted to Clayton’s progress by former assistant-turned-scout Pat Rice.
Rice is currently working on a part-time basis for the Gunners, with Wenger keen to use the Northern Irishman’s vast experience to run the rule over potential new recruits plying their trade in the Football League.
Clayton was watched in games against Portsmouth and then Walsall earlier this month, and Wenger was handed promising reports on the striker, who has been compared to ex-England star Michael Owen.
The Gunners’s presence at those matches has prompted speculation that a potential deal with Crewe has already been secured.
Speculation certainly seems to be growing surrounding the future of Crewe Alexandra striker Max Clayton and now Arsene Wenger appears to be going head to head with Sir Alex Ferguson in the chase for the 18 year old.
This source claims that a deal may already have been struck.
The highly rated teen has been linked with a host of clubs and looks likely to follow his former team-mate Nick Powell in the Premier League, with the former Gresty Road midfielder moving to Old Trafford in the summer. Arsene Wenger has brought in a number of players from the ‘lower leagues’ in recent seasons with great affect with the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Ramsey all making an impact following their moves to the North London club.
18 year old Clayton has already amassed 48 senior appearances for his hometown side and has netted four goals thus far this season. The England under 19 international is primarily used in an orthodox striking role but he has also been used effectively in a wide role and helped Steve Davis’s side achieve promotion to League One last term.
Arsene Wenger is of course famed for his ability to draw on youthful potential to help produce household names and may well feel that Clayton has the talent to make an impression at the highest level of the game.
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