Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to make another raid on the lower leagues of English football, with Leeds United starlet Fabian Delph on the radar of the Frenchman, according to reports.
18-year-old midfielder Delph has been at Leeds since making the short trip across Yorkshire from Bradford City in 2001 and made his senior debut for United earlier this season. Delph has been hailed as the most exciting prospect to come out of Elland Road since England International Aaron Lennon, who is now at Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.
Wenger has already got recent history of signing young players from lower league football, with the Gunners boss bringing Theo Walcott from Championship side Southampton and Aaron Ramsey to the Emirates Stadium from Cardiff City. With the Frenchman now understood to be ready to test the water in League 1 and make a move for the young prodigy.
However, Arsenal will face competition from Premiership rivals Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland for the England Under-19 International, who are all said to have expressed an interest in the talented midfielder.
Delph is under contract at Elland Road until 2012, with it believed that Leeds value the young starlet in the region of £5million, £1million of which would go to Bradford as part of the deal that took Delph to United as an 11-year-old.