MK Dons boss Karl Robinson has told Sky Sports that highly-rated midfielder Dele Alli has a target club in mind, but insists that any deal to take the youngster to the Premier League will need to include a loan return option.
The Daily Mirror has reported that Newcastle United head the race for the teenager’s signature, with Liverpool and Arsenal also in the mix.
Robinson is aware that he is fighting a losing battle in trying to keep a hot prospect out of top-flight clutches.
He acknowledges that a January sale is likely to be sanctioned, with the 18-year-old in the process of weighing up his options.
The youngster has a preferred destination, but MK Dons will ensure that any winter deal allows them to bring Alli back on loan for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign.
Robinson told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday: “The big stumbling block in the transfer would be that we want him back on loan. If you look at the structure of the deal, there are so many ways you can do that – with an initial fee, a sell on and other things involved in the transfer. One thing we would request, and one thing I would make sure was in it, was that if he went now he came back to play.
“He signed a new contract, and he didn’t have to do that. We wanted to give him more money because he deserved it. He wants to go somewhere where he can play, and he wants to play in the Premier League. He has got an idea where that may be.”
Alli is a product of the Dons academy system and made his senior bow as a 16-year-old back in November 2012.
Since then he has gone on to make over 70 appearances for the club and become a key man in the middle of the park.
He has got an eye for goal, breaking into double figures for the current campaign, and is also a useful source of assists for those around him with his powerful running and ability to pick a pass.