Stevenage: Boss Darren Sarll resigned to losing club's youngsters

Mark McKee (left) and Ben Wilmot
Mark McKee (left) has made 17 first-team appearances, while Ben Wilmot is awaiting his league debut

Stevenage manager Darren Sarll says he is resigned to having to sell several of his young players at some stage.

Chairman Phil Wallace has confirmed they have had interest in defender Ben Wilmot, 18, and forward Mark McKee, 19, from a number of Premier League clubs.

"As the manager I don't want to lose the best players - no manager does," Sarll told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"(But) part of my job is to produce players for the club to be financially compensated for in whatever way."

He added: "We know that ultimately if Ben, Mark, (Ben) Kennedy and (Matt) Godden retain the level they've been playing at over vast time periods, we're going to lose them to a better level of football."

Stevenage, currently 16th in League Two, had five academy graduates in their squad when they held Championship side Reading to a draw in the FA Cup third round last Saturday.

In a statement on the club website,external-link Wallace hinted the club will hold out for seven-figure fees for the likes of Wilmot and McKee.

"Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Burnley, Watford, Brighton, Bournemouth and West Brom have all registered interest and I am told there is also a top Bundesliga club that wants to speak to me," he said.

"To me, Exeter City set the bar for us all in League Two with the sale of 19-year-old Matt Grimes at £1.75m and they did it again with Ollie Watkins last season at £1.8m.

"This is the value of a young lad today with Premier League potential, no matter what league his club are in, with an individual package for the player that reflects the size of the fee."

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