Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino made a personal check on MK Dons sensation Dele Alli earlier this season and is now desperate to sign the 18-year-old in January, but must join a cue which already includes five top European clubs
Pochettino could not have picked a better match to study the England Under-19 starlet up close, with the Daily Mail reporting that the Spurs boss was at Stadium MK for the stunning 4-0 victory over Manchester United in the Capital One Cup.
Premier League giants Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool plus Bayern Munich all want Alli and are watching his progress closely, the Daily Mail believes Spurs are now serious contenders for his signature and will fight to complete a serious transfer coup when the window reopens.
MK Dons chiefs are braced for Alli's departure and concentrating on holding out for the highest possible transfer fee, one that if it reaches the £10 million quoted by manager Karl Robinson would pay the club's wage bill for the season and then some.
The League One outfit have proved to be stubborn negotiators when it comes to their star man, a talent compared to everyone from Lionel Messi to Steven Gerrard and continuing to earn rave review this season.
Liverpool had an offer of £3.5m rejected last summer and are expected to return in January with an improved bid, but Spurs could be their biggest obstacle to a deal yet if Pochettino's scout mission is anything to go by.
Alli adds goals to terrific all-round game
Holding firm on Alli's asking price has proved to the right decision by the MK Dons, with the teenager scoring six goals in 11 games across all competitions so far this season.
For those not fortunate enough to watch Alli so far this season he's primarily a central midfielder with a wide range of attributes, including the ability to burst forward with pace, power and purpose if given the opportunity.
If the attacking midfielder continues to play this well expect a lucrative January switch to follow, it's just a question of where and how much for a talent on the fast-track to the very top.