Spurs set their sights on Ipswich prodigy Connor Wickham
TOTTENHAM are ready to make another move for prodigious Ipswich teenager Connor Wickham, an English striker who is already being dubbed the new Wayne Rooney. Spurs have already had a �5million offer for the 17-year-old turned down...
By Ben Pearce
TOTTENHAM are ready to make another move for prodigious Ipswich teenager Connor Wickham, an English striker who is already being dubbed the new Wayne Rooney.
Spurs have already had a �5million offer for the 17-year-old turned down, but Harry Redknapp is weighing up an improved �8m bid in an attempt to lure the youngster to White Hart Lane.
Wickham only signed his first professional contract in March, when he turned 17, but he has already made 31 appearances for the Tractor Boys, scoring six times - including three goals in his last five Championship games of the season.
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Redknapp has seen enough potential to justify a multi-million pound fee, and the Spurs boss is particularly impressed with the forward's size - despite his age, Wickham is 6ft 4ins tall and weighs 14 stone.
Premier League scouts report that the talented youngster is just as good as Rooney was at the same age, and bigger.
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Wickham made his debut for Ipswich in April 2009, aged 16 years and 11 days, making him the club's youngest ever player, but it is his performances for England Under-17s which have really caught the eye.
The Tottenham target has netted eight goals in 10 appearances for the young Lions and, having struck a 21-minute hat-trick against Azerbaijan last October, he was the star man at the Uefa Under-17 European Championship in Liechtenstein last month.
Wickham scored both goals in a 2-1 win over France in the semi-final before netting the winner against Spain in the final.
Former Ipswich and England defender Kevin Beattie has already described Wickham as "an incredible talent", adding: "The boy has everything, strength, skill, the lot. It would not surprise me if he were partnering Wayne Rooney up front for England in a few years time. He impresses me that much."
Redknapp stated at the start of the summer that he is primarily looking for world-class players who would "make the difference" to his Spurs side.
However, the Tottenham boss surprised fans with his first signings last summer, bagging young Sheffield United full-backs Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker, and the Lilywhites have long had a policy of snapping up England's brightest prospects.
Spurs already have a good relationship with Ipswich, having loaned Mexico World Cup star Giovani Dos Santos to Portman Road for three months between March and June in 2009.
And the Lilywhites last week announced that Tim Sherwood will take a Spurs XI side to Ipswich for a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, August 3.
Redknapp intends to secure Wickham's signature before loaning him back out to a Championship side - probably Ipswich - for experience.
However, Ipswich boss Roy Keane insists that his club's hierarchy have no intention of cashing in on their brightest prospect.
"Connor is very much one for the future and we believe he is going to be a top, top player," said Keane. "He had a very good end to the season, even away with England [Under-17s], and Connor is very much part of our plans. From the club and the owner's point of view, we are under no pressure to sell him.