Who is set to get Garvan?

THE chase is on to sign Ipswich Town's out-of-favour midfielder, Owen Garvan.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

THE chase is on to sign Ipswich Town's out-of-favour midfielder, Owen Garvan.

The Championship trio of Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest and Scunthorpe United are all showing an interest in signing Town's highly-rated 21-year-old.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones admitted last week that he was searching for a replacement for Stephen McPhail, his talisman midfielder, who is set to be sidelined with injury until February.

And Forest and Scunthorpe emerged as rivals to snap up Garvan over the weekend. Any deal would have to be a loan agreement until the transfer window reopens in January.

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Garvan has not featured for Town since the 2-0 defeat at West Brom in late August, when he was withdrawn at half-time.

However, the Dubliner, who came up through the Academy system at Portman Road, has continued to be a regular for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s.

He skippered the Irish to a 1-1 draw in Georgia, in their European Championship qualifying campaign over the weekend. It was his 14th cap.

Meanwhile, Connor Wickham's days as an Ipswich Town player might also be numbered.

Town's 16-year-old wonder kid could be the subject of a big battle, as the cream of the Premier League vie for the right to sign him in the new year.

Aston Villa emerged as a leading contender last week, while the top flight's big four - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool

- have all sent scouts to plot the progress of Town's Academy striker.

Although Wickham has come up through the Portman Road youth system, Town cannot sign him on a professional contract until the day of his 17th birthday, which is March 31, 2010.

It would be very frustrating for Town if Wickham, who is a regular for England Under-17s, was to be snapped up by a high-profile Premier League outfit before he had played many games for his home club.

Wickham, a powerful centre-forward, attracted even more interest when he scored a brace in Town's Carling Cup first round tie at Shrewsbury in August.

He had previously become the youngest ever player to appear for Town's first team when appearing as a substitute against Doncaster last season, at the age of 16 years and 11 days.

If Wickham does sign for another club, on his 17th birthday, and Town cannot agree terms with the other club, then they should be entitled to compensation.

Meanwhile, Town keeper Asmir Begovic was an unused substitute as his Bosnia and Herzegovina team lost 1-0 to Portugal in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off. Bosnia have home advantage in the second leg on Wednesday.