VIDEO: Mick McCarthy looking to pip Premier League clubs to young Brentford star Harry Forrester

Brentford midfielder Harry Forrester. Photo: Hounslow Chronicle

Brentford midfielder Harry Forrester. Photo: Hounslow Chronicle - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy is hoping to pip a number of Premier League clubs to the signing of young Brentford star Harry Forrester.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder is exactly the sort of pacey and direct-running type of player that is required at Portman Road, with the Blues boss having watched him in during Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Southend in the FA Cup.

Aston Villa beat off reported competition from Manchester United and Tottenham to sign Forrester from Watford for £250,000 as a 16-year-old, but he ended up being released by the top-flight club in 2011 after failing to break into the first team set-up.

The Milton Keynes-born youngster – capped at England Under-16 and 17 level – went on trial at Dutch giants Ajax that summer and earned praise from manager Frank De Boer, but he turned down a permanent move to join League One side Brentford.

A bit-part player in his debut campaign at Griffin Park, he has caught the eye of scouts across the land this season following a return of six goals and eight assists from 23 starts and nine substitute appearances.

Just last month, Villa were said to be interested with a move to bring Forrester back to the club, while Reading, Southampton and Celtic have all been linked.

Forrester said recently he would stay at the promotion-chasing Bees until the end of the season, but it looks increasingly likely that he will move on when his two-year contract expires this summer.

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McCarthy may wait and try and get him on a Bosman free transfer at the end of his deal, or he could try and launch a bid now – the player understood to have a £350,000 release clause – in order to beat off a host of rivals.

Direct-running left-winger Kynan Issac, 20, has also been on trial from non-league side Banbury United recently and started for a Town Under-21 side that won 2-1 at Charlton on Monday.

Following Saturday’s goalless draw at Championship table-toppers Cardiff City, McCarthy said: “If we can add some quality to it with that final pass, final cross and finishing then we’ll be a better side.”

Midfield duo Anthony Wordsworth (Colchester United) and Mark Yeates (Watford) are both understood to be on a lengthy list of Town targets.