Wickham: ‘I’m staying with Ipswich’

IPSWICH TOWN: Connor Wickham has again confirmed his loyalty to the Blues as speculation mounts that the 17-year-old could soon be on his way to the Premier League.

While Town are refusing to confirm or deny reports that they have placed a �10million figure on the striker’s head, Wickham and his advisors remain focused on enjoying a season of regular first team Championship football at Portman Road.

Arsenal and Tottenham are two clubs whose names have been linked with Wickham continuously all summer, and the youngster has been watched by a host of Premier League scouts for a couple of years now.

Wickham’s dad Stefan is adamant that his son is going nowhere in the foreseeable future, with a year of regular first team football his son’s best option in 2010/11.

And Wickham junior said at the weekend: “I’m looking forward to staying with Ipswich, and nothing has changed.”

Ipswich have maintained all along that they are determined to keep Wickham, but every player has his price as Everton found out when a young Wayne Rooney moved to Manchester United.

Town look as though they desperately need Wickham’s goalscoring instincts to help them improve on last season’s 15th place, and not having turned 17 until March 31 the Colchester-based player has plenty of time on his side.

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It looks a strong odds-on bet that Wickham will stay, but one transfer scenario could benefit Town manager Roy Keane.

This is if a top club comes in with a big bid to secure a potentially great player on to their books and then loan him back to Ipswich to gain first team experience next season.

Between �8million and �10million would then become available to Keane to bring in a free-scoring front running partner – and with little happening in Keane’s quest to offload some of the eight players he has made available it might become a serious option.

Former Town coach Bryan Klug, who has done so much over the years to help develop talented youngsters at Portman Road, has joined the coaching staff at Spurs.

He is believed to be overseeing the coaching of players up to the age of 16 at White Hart Lane and his move to the Premier League club will increase the likelihood of Wickham moving to that part of north London.

Klug left the Town staff midway through last season after being academy director for a number of years.

He became a highly respected figure before moving into adult football and acting as head coach under the Town management of Jim Magilton.

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