Keane will fight to keep stars
Roy Keane admits that he will have to fend off serious interest in order to keep his star players.
Last Updated: 01/05/10 2:06pm
Ipswich manager Roy Keane admits that he will have to fend off the interest of several clubs in order to hang onto his star players.
The Irish manager has revealed that enquiries have already been made about certain members of the squad, with captain Jon Walters thought to be a target.
And even though Keane plans on strengthening his side in the summer, he says it will not be at the expense of current key players.
"One of my biggest challenges is going to be keeping our best players at the football club, because there has been interest in them," he told the Evening Star.
"People are going on about getting new players, but I also intend to keep my best players.
"Trust me, I've already had enquiries about some of my players, who I have no intention of letting go.
"I don't want to be bringing in players and letting one or two go, because I'll be taking one step forward and two steps back.
"I have a core group of players who I have no intention of letting go, my captain (Walters) being one of them.
"I know it's going to be hard work keeping some of my players."
Teenage prospect Connor Wickham, who has been garnering rave reviews after scoring three goals in his last four games, is another player Keane hopes to keep at Ipswich.
The 17-year-old signed professional terms with the club at the beginning of April and Keane hopes to develop the youngster at Portman Road.
He added: "I'm not going to discuss Connor, but I know what players I'd be looking at, if I was a young manager in the Premier League.
"We've seen the Theo Walcotts and Gareth Bales go after just 15 to 20 games (for Southampton).
"I just thank God that Connor signed his contract not so long ago."