‘New Lionel Messi’ plays down Manchester United link

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Croatian starlet Alen Halilovic has played down talk of a possible transfer to Manchester United or Real Madrid.

The talented 16-year-old broke into Dinamo Zagreb’s senior side at the weekend, and is recognised as one of his country’s rising stars. The Daily Mirror even compared the player to Real Madrid sensation Luka Modric on Friday.

Reports in the player’s homeland have gone a step further, comparing Halilovic to Barcelona sensation Lionel Messi, but it appears the teenager has his feet on the ground amidst talk he could move to Old Trafford or the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Stories about Real Madrid and Manchester United? I don't give much thought about those kind of stories. Dinamo will decide what will happen to me, all I have to do is just try to develop as much as I can. Everything else doesn't matter right now," he told Jutarnji List.

"I read in the newspapers that I look like Leo Messi when I play, but I think the comparison with Messi is just too much. There is only one Messi. I admire him, he is a role model for many young players, but I don't know if anyone can be like him.”

Sir Alex Ferguson has shown on a number of occasions that he’s willing to invest in players for the future, with Nick Powell the most recent example at Manchester United after he was signed this summer from Crewe Alexandra.

And, with a long-term successor for Paul Scholes still high on the agenda at United, Halilovic could be one for the future if the Red Devils do decide to go head-to-head with Jose Mourinho in the transfer market.

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