Football

Manchester City scouts cast eye over 16-year-old ‘new Messi’

Roberto Mancini is eyeing Halilovic (©GettyImages)
Roberto Mancini is eyeing Halilovic (©GettyImages).

Manchester City have sent representatives to run the rule over Dynamo Zagreb youngster Alen Halilovic over the weekend, according to reports in Croatia.

The 16-year-old has smashed records in his home country, becoming the youngest player to appear for Zagreb as well as the youngest player to ever score a goal in Croatian league. He has also made his debut for the club in the Champions League, against Paris Saint-Germain.

Halilovic, who has earned himself the nickname of the ‘new Lionel Messi’, has already attracted the attention of numerous big European clubs, including Manchester United and Real Madrid.

However it is Manchester City who appear most serious in their pursuit of the talented youngster after sending scouts to watch him in action against NK Zadar on Saturday. The Citizens have reportedly scouted him before, in both Champions League ties against PSG.

According to Sportske, Manchester City will send a three-man delegate to Zagreb next week to open discussions over a potential transfer, and claims that even owener Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan could be present at the talks.

The Croatian publication also speculates that the reason Halilovic was handed his first start of the season was to impress the visiting scouts from the Etihad Stadium.

Reports last month suggested rivals Manchester United were keen on Halilovic but weren't willing to meet the £12 million valuation put on his head in order to take him to Old Trafford.

The young midfielder got on the scoresheet in the 5-0 home on Saturday win but was later replaced because of injury.

Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Manchester United

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