Young Gunners coming to City?

Glenn Roeder could benefit from the fall-out of Arsenal's shock Carling Cup exit when the man he calls “the best manager in the world” assesses what comes next for his young Gunners.

Glenn Roeder could benefit from the fall-out of Arsenal's shock Carling Cup exit when the man he calls “the best manager in the world” assesses what comes next for his young Gunners.

The City boss and his Arsenal counterpart share a mutual respect which almost led Roeder into employment at the Emirates Stadium.

Now he may be planning to raid the Gunners' home as he seeks reinforcements for the relegation battle ahead.

Wenger uses the Carling Cup to help prepare young players for the rigours of Championship football, but showed last season that he was more than willing to allow players to go out on loan to further their education - and Roeder will be an interested observer now that one cup mission is out of the way following the Gunners' 5-1 defeat at Spurs on Tuesday.


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“All I know is that as and when if Arsene can ever help Norwich and me I think he will,” said Roeder at the beginning of the transfer window. “I have no promises but I think he will.”

Roeder is a confirmed admirer of defender Armand Traore while midfielder Abou Diaby hasn't live up to his billing as the new Patrick Vieira - both played at White Hart Lane but both could now be freed for the rest of the campaign.

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Justin Hoyte is a defender who could solve Roeder's defensive problem, should the interest in Birmingham's Martin Taylor fail to advance beyond the current impasse.

Wenger certainly hinted that he would now reappraise his playing stock in the light of the semi-final exit.

“My only regret is playing some of the players who played,” he said. “We go into the season with many targets and every season we go in with that priority in this competition. It is good to see that some players have potential and some are not completely ready yet.

“It is part of the learning process. When you are a footballer you have to deal with disappointments. That is part of it all. You have to take that on board. When you a footballer you lose games, it is how you respond and deal with that.”

Roeder would, no doubt, be interested to see if his could help in the learning process, in much the same way as he is now doing with Ched Evans and Ryan Bertrand, on loan from Manchester City and Chelsea respectively.

His relationship with Frank Arnesen, Chelsea's sporting director, served him well in securing Bertrand, as did City's treatment of former Chelsea loan player Jimmy Smith, and his admiration for Wenger may just give him an advantage when the Frenchman is looking for tutors for his youngsters.

Roeder is currently wading through the minefield that the January transfer window has become, with pitfalls at every turn, such as the one served up by his former boss Harry Redknapp yesterday.

The Portsmouth manager is reportedly interested in Newcastle's Shola Ameobi - and that could dash any lingering hopes Roeder had of bringing the striker to Carrow Road.

Roeder has been tracking Ameobi's progress in recent weeks in the hope that he could be persuaded to move south to Norwich on a loan deal.

But his inclusion in Kevin Keegan's first squad at the weekend put a nail in that particular coffin - and now interest from Redknapp is set to finally put the lid on it.

Redknapp, Roeder's predecessor as West Ham United manager in 2001, is reportedly keen on taking the 26-year-old to Fratton Park, where he has Kanu and John Utaka in African Cup of Nations action and is light up front.

Ameobi's 90-minute appearance against Bolton at the weekend was his first in the black and white since late September, but, despite post-match praise from Keegan, he faces competition for his place from Obafemi Martins, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Alan Smith and Andy Carroll, another player who was rumoured to be in Roeder's sights.

The situation, though, is further complicated by rumours that Newcastle are interested in former Canaries striker Dean Ashton, now at West Ham - and with a £7, price tag being mentioned, that could mean a £525,000 windfall from Norwich from a sell-on clause.

Roeder is desperate to solve City's goalscoring problems, which, despite the unbeaten run in the Championship, have cost them valuable points in the battle against relegation.

His options are limited to Dion Dublin, Jamie Cureton and on-loan Ched Evans, and even if Manchester City don't recall the teenager after February 6 as they are entitled to, Roeder then has to persuade Sven-Goran Eriksson to allow him to stay on after his deal expires on February 26.

That scenario would leave Roeder desperately short of options for the run-in - and all that while he is trying to wrap up a deal for Taylor.

That move depends on other ins and outs at Birmingham where, although Taylor played 90 minutes for their reserves against Arsenal on Monday, he is clearly not a wanted man.

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