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By ESPN Staff

Saints confirm Walcott bids - with another set to follow

Southampton have confirmed they have received two offers from 'top Premiership clubs' for teenage star Theo Walcott and are expecting another later today.

Arsenal and Chelsea are thought to be leading the chase for the 16-year-old, with reports over the weekend suggesting the Gunners were close to agreeing a deal.

Saints chairman Rupert Lowe told the club's official website: 'We have now received a couple of offers and the indications are another may follow.

'These have not been accepted or rejected at this stage.'

Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool are also believed to be interested in the emerging talent, who - as he is still only 16 - can walk out on the club for a tribunal-set fee.

It is thought the boyhood Arsenal fan would prefer a move to the Gunners, but Chelsea have reportedly vowed to top any other offer Walcott receives in their efforts to tempt him to Stamford Bridge.

However, Saints boss George Burley believes Walcott may be best served by staying on the south coast.

He added: 'At the moment he is in the best place and doing tremendously well. He is playing regularly which is fantastic at his age.

'There has been a lot of talk but you have to consider the boy's future and I feel the best place for him right now is at Southampton. I have not spoken to him about his future but he is enjoying his training and you can see he wants to learn and he is just getting better and better.

'I said from day one that I want to keep him as long as possible and this is the best place for him to develop and learn.

'I have worked with a lot of good youngsters but I have never had a 16-year-old playing regular first-team football before. At Ipswich we used Kieron Dyer and Richard Wright and Titus Bramble and others at 17 but we never had a 16-year-old.

'He has the potential to be as good as them or better and we want to keep him for as long as possible.'