Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Monday January 6 2014
Press speculation is mounting that Liverpool are nearing a deal for MK Dons midfielder Dele Alli...
Although not the eye-catching, big name signing many fans will be hoping for, Liverpool could be about to complete their first deal of the transfer window.
According to the Daily Mirror, a move for highly-rated youngster Dele Alli is close to completion after Reds manager Brendan Rodgers checked out the player in person on Saturday.
The 17-year-old played an important part in earning the League One side an FA Cup replay against holders Wigan Athletic after a 3-3 draw at the DW Stadium.
The story has subsequently been carried by a number of other mainstream media outlets including Sky Sports.
Commenting on the speculation after the game, Dons boss Karl Robinson revealed: "I know Brendan quite well and we speak about different players all the time.
"There may have been another reason why he was at the game today, but you've seen Dele and he's special. Yeah, he did some silly things but he's 17 years of age. He did bits of magic too.
"You don't see many 17-year-olds playing in an FA Cup third round against a very good Wigan side and not looking out of place.
"I'm very proud of his development."
Alli, capped nine times by England at Under-17 level, made his senior MK Dons debut in November 2012 as a 16-year-old and scored his first goal in an FA Cup first-round replay later the same month.
Described by the club's official website as a 'smart, ball-playing midfielder with an eye for goal', Alli finished last season as their leading scorer at Under-18 level with 17 goals.
The match against Wigan was his 10th first-team appearance of the current season.
There is no mention of cost in any of the articles however and Alli was previously linked with Newcastle United at the tale end of last year.
There is always a certain amount of hype surrounding young British talent especially when they become senior regulars at such a young age. It's very hard though to tell just how good Alli is from brief highlights and snippets but if Rodgers was indeed checking him out in person then that is a good sign. Therefore, as long as the deal is right, presumably in the six figure bracket, with any additional cost linked to appearances and future success then why not take the gamble? If you can unearth a gem it will save the club millions in the future.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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Date:Monday January 6 2014
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