Gunners handed boost in race for teenage striker sensation

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Arsenal have been handed a boost in their quest to sign striker Connor Wickham after Ipswich boss Roy Keane revealed the club might have to cash in on the player.

The England U17 international has earned rave reviews for his performances at both club and junior country level, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger a known admirer of the teenager.

Ipswich were forced to reject what Keane described as big offers in the summer for the player, and although the former Manchester United midfielder would love to keep hold of the player, the Daily Mail reports that it might be a tough task when the transfer window re-opens.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Tractor Boys clash against Portsmouth at the weekend, Keane said: "The club have resisted, and rightly so, even though there were some big, big offers. Who's to say that won't change in January?"

"Keeping Connor was a message to the supporters. It was a plus, absolutely."

Wickham was courted by north London rivals Arsenal and Spurs in the summer, and the pair of clubs are thought to be behind the aforementioned 'big bids'.

With Wenger's track-record of developing young talent in world class players, the Emirates based side have unsurprisingly been seen as the favourites for the player, who is also being watched by England U21 boss Stuart Pearce with a view to a potential call-up.

His current boss is quick to keep his starlet's feet on the ground though, reminding him of the pitfalls in the modern game. These would only be amplified with a move to a top flight club like Arsenal.

"He's 17, he's young, and he'll have energy. That's his own business. He's got a good family behind him. I don't need to babysit him and so far so good. But are there pitfalls ahead of him? You bet your life there are."

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