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By ESPN Staff
May 16, 2008

Jones: Cardiff starlet Ramsey set for the top

Cardiff manager Dave Jones insists teenage prodigy Aaron Ramsey would not look out of place alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is already known to have enquired about the 17-year-old midfielder and Liverpool and Chelsea are among a host of other Premier League clubs reported to be interested.

Ramsey, who was on Thursday named in John Toshack's senior Wales squad for the first time, is likely to be given the biggest chance yet to showcase his talents when the Bluebirds take on Portsmouth in tomorrow's FA Cup final at Wembley.

Jones insists the game will not necessarily be the youngster's final bow for the League Championship club despite a number of clubs reportedly preparing multi-million pound offers.

However, he admits it could prove 'difficult' if one of the big four come in with an offer.

'We don't have to sell him now,' Jones said.

'But if Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool come calling and the price is right it's difficult to say to the kid you are not going to play with (Wayne) Rooney and (Cristiano) Ronaldo.

'We have been very honest since we've been at the club and if it is the right deal for the club and the player then we will do it.'

Asked if Ramsey is yet good enough to be keeping such company, Jones replied: 'Oh yeah.

'His next stage of development is to go with better players. He has his off days like any player but he's not fazed.

'He's not had a full season, which is helpful. If he had been in right from the start he might not be at the level he is now.'

Occasions like tomorrow have been known to give experienced professionals and managers more than a few sleepless nights.

But not Ramsey, who only a year ago was taking his GCSE's at Welsh-speaking school, Cwm Rhymni, situated near Caerphilly.

In fact, the Wales Under-21 international rates taking his exams more strenuous than the build-up to the world's most famous domestic cup competition.

'It is a really exciting time for us,' he said. 'I was in the middle of GCSEs last year.

'It was more stressful than this. I did all right in the end. I passed 10 out of 11, and only failed biology.

'This is more fun. It is a lot more enjoyable.'

It is a remarkable reminder of just how far the youngster has come in the space of 12 months.

Even if the Bluebirds fail to lift the trophy the cup is certain to hold fond memories for Ramsey this season.

He made his full debut in the third-round win at Chasetown, even getting on the scoresheet.

And the man he replaced that day, Stephen McPhail, believes City have a 'superstar' in the making on their hands.

'He is a down-to-earth type of lad who will work hard at his game, but he is a bit special and I am sure he is going to be a superstar,' he added.

'When you are training with someone every day and he makes the right decisions nearly all the time, I think that shows a good player.

'He is very shy and quiet but is very confident with the ball. When he is on that pitch he is a different character.'