ALDERSHOT Town have handed teenage wonderkid Idris Kanu his first professional contract – to ward off strong interest from Reading FC.

The Reading Chronicle revealed earlier this week that Royals have been sending scouts to watch the talented striker, who turned 17 on Monday, for at least the past two months.

It is believed they saw him in action against Boreham Wood on Saturday and would not have been disappointed as Kanu scored a superb solo goal in a 2-0 victory.

Shots boss Gary Waddock is desperate to keep hold of ex-West Ham Academy star Kanu, who only joined the National League club in October following a trial at Manchester United.

The youngster has now been tied down on a contract until summer 2019, but that is unlikely to put off his growing number of admirers including Royals, who could make a sizeable offer in January.

London-born Kanu grew up in West Ham’s Academy after joining them as a nine-year-old and went on to feature for the Under-21 side.

But he rejected a two-year scholarship with the Hammers and left aged 16.

Kanu was picked up by Manchester United and he scored twice for their U18s in a 5-1 win against Middlesbrough at their Carrington training ground in September.

But even though it seemed Kanu would be offered a youth deal by United, he decided to seek first-team football elsewhere and joined Aldershot initially on a short-term deal.

“We’re fortunate to have signed a very talented player,” said Waddock at the time.

“We need to make sure that we help him to realise his potential but we are planning for the future.”

Kanu has scored three goals in six starts for the the Shots since making his debut in October – becoming the club’s youngest player (16yrs, 308 days) and youngest goalscorer (16 yrs, 343 days) in a league fixture in the process.

After watching Kanu pen his new deal at the Recreation Ground, Waddock added: “We are delighted that Idris has signed his first professional contract with Aldershot Town.

“He has made a fantastic start to his career here and now it is up to myself and (assistant manager) James Rowe to help him fulfil his undoubted potential.”

Meanwhile, Reading are also interested in Brentford’s Scott Hogan as boss Jaap Stam steps up his search for a new striker.

Hogan currently stands second in the Championship goalscoring charts with 11 in 20 appearances, with only Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle ahead of him.

The 24-year-old former Rotherham United hitman is also being linked with Norwich City, Derby County and Hull City.

Reading’s current Thai owners have given Stam the green light to bolster his strikeforce in January, even though they are in discussions with Chinese investors Dai Yongee and sister Dai Xiu Li over selling the majority of their shares.