Crawley Town will have a tough time signing hotshot forward Karlan Ahearne-Grant on a permanent basis this summer.

That is if the reaction of his current boss, Harry Kewell, is anything to go by when he was quizzed about the prospects of keeping him at the Checkatrade Stadium beyond this campaign.

The 20-year-old Charlton loanee scored his fifth goal in four games against Cheltenham in a sobering 5-3 home defeat on Saturday, and has impressed since joining temporarily in January.

When The Argus asked the manager the chances of signing Ahearne-Grant permanently after Saturday’s match, Kewell said: “Are you serious?

“He’s a Charlton boy on loan.

“That’s got nothing to do with us, mate.

“I heard there was about eight clubs here after him.”

The Aussie’s words will not be what Reds fans wanted to hear, although their hopes of keeping the young striker would likely be slim anyway.

Saturday’s goal put Ahearne-Grant on par with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Sean Maguire of Preston North End, Patrick Bamford at Middlesbrough and ex-Albion target Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is on loan to Fulham from Newcastle.

Each of those players currently have five league goals to their tally for the month of March. Reds complete their month at Cambridge today.

Ahearne-Grant’s stock will only continue to inflate as he keeps getting the goals.

He has netted eight times in his nine appearances for Crawley, making him their joint-third leading goalscorer behind Jimmy Smith and Enzio Boldewijn.

Recent rumours have circulated about Kewell joining Ahearne-Grant’s parent club, with the Addicks looking set to be taken over by an Australian consortium.

However, Kewell, who took over at Crawley last summer, sees his long-term future firmly in the Reds’ hotseat, and insists no offer has been made for his services.

He said: “(Charlton) is a fantastic club, first and foremost.

“Everybody’s decided to try and put two and two together and realised there’s an Aussie manager coaching in the Football League and said, ‘let’s stick them together’.

“I have had a lot more things to worry about.”

He added: “Of course I’m flattered because it’s a great club, but no one has approached me.

“I don’t think you all realise how big this club can possibly be.

“With a little bit of hard work and a few more players, you don’t how good this club can be “I can see so much potential in the squad and the area. I want to take the club to the top, to the Premier League even. Why not?”

“Clubs have done it before and I think Bournemouth is the prime example.

“I’m in it as far and as much as they want me in on it. I’d love to be able to take this club to a higher level and I don’t see why we can’t.”