In Brief

‘English Messi’ Dele Alli snubs Arsenal and Chelsea

Teenage sensation rejects overtures from Premier League giants to stay with MK Dons

The young man known as the 'English Messi' has reportedly "snubbed interest from Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool" in order to remain true to the MK Dons. The 18-year-old Dele Alli has been dubbed in some quarters (probably by his agent) England's answer to Lionel Messi, the Barcelona striker and Argentine superstar who scores goals at a staggering rate in Spain. Prominent in the MK Dons 4-0 demolition of United in last month's Capital One Cup rout, Alli is now being tailed by some of the biggest clubs in the land but for the time being the teenage sensation wants to stay in Milton Keynes. Yet the Daily Express says the Dons are resigned to losing Alli at some stage, particularly if a big offer arrives on their doorstep. "It's inevitable that there will be a time when we will have to let him go," admitted Dons gaffer Karl Robinson after announcing that they had just extended his contract for a further 12 months. "For the time being, he remains an MK Dons player and we'll continue to enjoy watching him progress week-in, week-out here at Stadium MK."

According to the Daily Star, Arsenal are "weighing up a move for either Diego Lugano or Joseph Yobo" amid something of a defensive disaster at the Emirates. With the Gunners back four in disarray following injuries or illness befalling Mathieu Debuchy, Nacho Monreal and Calum Chambers, manager Arsene Wenger is desperate for reinforcements. The transfer window is now closed until January so the nutty professor's only option is sign players who are currently out of contract. Two who fall into that category are of ex-West Brom defender Lugano and former Everton and Norwich blocker Yobo. The Star says that for the time being Wenger is "yet to make up his mind" which player to approach, a show of indecision that's out of character when it comes to the transfer market.

Finally, the future of former England striker Jermain Defoe remains a topic of hot debate across the pond with Toronto unable to say if the 31-year-old will still be plying his trade in the MLS come the New Year. Defoe was signed from Tottenham in February on a four-year deal but QPR boss Harry Redknapp has made no secret of his wish to bring the veteran hitman back to the Premier League in January. The football website Goal.com reports that when asked about the rumours linking Defoe to a return to England, Toronto coach Greg Vanney replied: "In terms of Jermain in January, I don't know… I have no idea where his mind's at, to be honest. I haven't had a sit-down, long conversation with him about things."

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