‘Ipswich starlet Wickham should stay at Portman Road’

HARRY Redknapp has urged Ipswich’s prodigious striker Connor Wickham to stay in the Championship next season and shun the advances of Premier League suitors – including Tottenham.

Wickham (pictured above) became the Tractor Boys’ youngest ever player in 2009, when he made his debut 11 days after his 16th birthday.

Despite only turning 18 last week, he has already won three caps for England’s Under-21s, and is being tipped as a future star for his country.

Spurs were interested in Wickham last summer and Ipswich boss Paul Jewell said last week: “If Liverpool or Tottenham come in with money that is going to help us plough back into the team – silly money if you like – we have to listen to it.”

However, Tottenham manager Redknapp has distanced himself from the talk surrounding Wickham’s future, stating that the teenager is too inexperienced to make an impact for Spurs.

“I don’t think we’ve made an offer, and the sort of money they’re talking about is something like �10million. I wouldn’t see us spending that,” he said.

“With him, you’re looking somewhere down the line. He’s not going to be ready to play in Tottenham’s first team next year and is he going to go and play in Liverpool’s first team with [Andy] Carroll and [Luis] Suarez? I would think he’s probably better off staying at Ipswich for another year and playing.

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“I think sometimes ‘moving up’ to a top club can be a backwards step. We’ve had it here with kids. They’ve come here and they don’t play and we end up loaning them out this year, like the two boys [Kyle] Naughton and [Kyle] Walker.

“They’ve gone out and done well but we had to loan them out because they weren’t playing here. I think sometimes you’re better off staying at your club and playing. It’s not my decision obviously but if I was the kid [Wickham] I think I’d be looking to keep playing football.”

Meanwhile, Redknapp has also refuted suggestions that Tottenham are weighing up a move for Germany international Miroslav Klose, who will available on a free transfer from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

“He’s a good player but we’ve made no enquiries for him at all,” said the Tottenham boss.