Arsenal face a battle for Saints' £4m teen

 

Arsenal face intense competition to sign the Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, with Chelsea and Manchester City both now in the race for the 16-year-old who is rated as one of the best prospects in English football.

The Championship club value the player at around £4m even though he is yet to make his first-team debut. It is anticipated that Shaw, an unused substitute for Nigel Adkins' side in the weekend's 2-1 win over Coventry City in the FA Cup third round, will be watched by all the Premier League's leading clubs when he plays for Southampton under-18s in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium tonight.

Arsenal have so far been confident of signing the player, having also secured Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the club in the last six years, but Shaw will not lack for suitors. He is a regular in the England under-17s team and his potential has been stressed by the Football Association's director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking.

Originally from Kingston, Surrey, Shaw is understood to have agreed a professional deal with Southampton to begin when he turns 17 in July, the earliest point he can sign such terms. The new Elite Player Performance Plan system, which begins from the start of next season, is unlikely to affect Southampton in this case, such is the scale of the interest in him.

Even under the new system, the buying and selling clubs can agree to put aside the pre-established sliding scale for calculating compensation and come to a "mutually agreed fee".

Shaw represents another triumph for the Southampton academy who have a formidable record in recent years, producing Gareth Bale, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain among others. The current under-18s team, coached by former Southampton player Jason Dodd, beat Sheffield United 7-0 to reach the fourth round. Their winger Calum Chambers is also highly rated.

Whether Shaw leaves this month or next summer will depend on whether the clubs chasing him can agree a fee with Southampton. An asking price of £4m is extremely high for a teenager who has not even played senior football but the market value for the best young players, and in particular, the best young English players, is rising all the time.

Shaw is part of the England under-17s squad that will play a round-robin with Georgia, Ukraine and Spain in Georgia in March. The winning team will play in the European Under-17 Championship in Slovenia in May.

Both Manchester City and Liverpool have been active buyers of teenagers recently, with smaller clubs now more willing to cash in their academy products lest the coming EPPP rules rein in the scale of fees. In most cases it is a question of out-bidding rival clubs by offering ever-more lucrative professional deals to boys.

Sport
world cup 2014
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil