Roeder chases Arsenal youngster

Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder's hopes of getting Martin Taylor hung in the balance again last night - but the Canaries boss could now be in the market for one of Arsenal's brilliant young stars of the future.

Chris Lakey

Glenn Roeder's hopes of getting Martin Taylor hung in the balance again last night - but the Canaries boss could now be in the market for one of Arsenal's brilliant young stars of the future.

Birmingham central defender Taylor has been high on Glenn Roeder's wish list in the January transfer window after a successful loan spell at Carrow Road at the end of last year.

Although Blues boss Alex McLeish has made it clear that Taylor doesn't figure in his plans, he is reluctant to let him leave St Andrews until he gets cover.


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And Roeder's hopes of bringing him back on a permanent basis appeared last night to depend on Birmingham winning a three-way tug-of-war with Bolton and Sunderland for Aston Villa's Gary Cahill.

Roeder had appeared to have accepted the worst yesterday when it was announced that Bolton agreed to pay a fee of between £4.5m and £5m for Cahill - almost certainly scuppering his own plans for Taylor.

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“Martin is looking very, very doubtful,” he said. “I wouldn't be holding my breath about Martin Taylor coming here this week.

“All I know is he wants to come here, but I don't think it is going to happen.”

It all changed again last night, however, when it was revealed that both Birmingham and Sunderland have also matched Bolton's offer for the 22-year-old, McLeish saying: “I don't know how far down the line the Bolton thing is. But we have ruled ourselves in on anything that is happening.”

Whatever happens on the Taylor front, however, it now appears that Arsenal may have another avenue for Roeder to explore, even though Gunners boss Arsene Wenger says he won't be sending out any of his young fringe players out on loan.

Below that there is a clutch of youngsters who have racked up just one or two first team starts between them - including the likes of 18-year-old midfielders Kieran Gibbs, Mark Randall and 17-year-olds Henri Lansbury and Nacer Barazite as well as defender Gavin Hoyte, 17.

Wenger expects some of them to be in his first team squad for next season, but Roeder knows the Frenchman would love to see them get a taste of regular first team action beforehand.

“As far as I am aware they are only going to let one lad out because they have a lot of injuries this year and they are still in plenty of competitions, so I don't think they can afford to let any out,” said Roeder. “There is one very young lad they might let out that could interest us, that we might take.

“We have first option on him anyway. He is a real youngster but, like most of those Arsenal youngsters, they tend to be able to cope with senior football.”

Roeder has been let down more than once in the current window but insists he is confident that he will be adding to his squad before Thursday night's deadline.

“I don't want to keep saying it, but I do believe we will have a few new faces by Thursday,” he said.

Roeder doesn't want to be burning the midnight oil on Thursday waiting to pick up left-overs - but knows from experience it doesn't always work that way.

“If you're still doing that very rarely do you get anything you really want by then,” he said. “At Newcastle 18 months ago I signed (Antoine) Sibierski with about 20 minutes to go which turned out to be the best free transfer last season along with Sol Campbell, but it is pretty unusual.”

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