Roeder will check out Arsenal's young stars

City boss Glenn Roeder admits he will be contacting Arsenal before January to check the availability of their young players - but insists he has not inquired about striker Jay Simpson.

City boss Glenn Roeder admits he will be contacting Arsenal before January to check the availability of their young players - but insists he has not inquired about striker Jay Simpson.

The 19-year-old, who played for the Gunners' reserve team at Carrow Road last month, is expected to sign a new 2½-year deal at the Emirates Stadium before Christmas, and one national newspaper claimed he would then be loaned to the Canaries in January.

Roeder has known Simpson since he was 10 years old and admits to watching his career closely.

But he said: "I've had not contact with Arsenal for a few months now.


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"I will speak to Arsene Wenger or Steve Rowley, the chief scout, over the next couple of weeks to see what the situation is with young players continuing to play first team football because their lads have been playing in the Carling Cup but they're now out of that."

Last season Roeder took Arsenal teenager Kieran Gibbs on loan, Gibbs making seven first team appearances for City during his stay.

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He said: "The question has basically always been 'Can we have Kieran back?' and because they let Armand Traore go out to Portsmouth, they've not been able to let Kieran come back."

He added: "I know Jay Simpson as a lad. My son was at Arsenal when he was 10 and Jay Simpson was also 10 so for about four seasons my son William played in the same academy team as Jay.

"Jay was always the one in that squad, if there was going to be a player make a professional footballer, because he used to score stacks of goals on a Sunday morning.

"He was always a big, powerful boy, so I've watched his career develop because of the association with my son playing in his side for four seasons.

"He's a lovely lad but the actual report that we've made a move for him is well off the radar."

Simpson has made three first team appearances for Arsenal, scoring twice in their 3-0 Carling Cup win over Wigan last month and appearing as a substitute in their 2-0 quarter-final defeat at Burnley on Tuesday night.

Simpson was crowned PFA League One player of the year last season after an impressive 41-game loan spell at Millwall, where he notched six goals.

The striker also has the distinction of being the first Gunner to score a competitive hat-trick at the Emirates Stadium during an FA Youth Cup victory over Cardiff in February 2007.

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