Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their ongoing pursuit of Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Alen Halilovic, according to Sky Italia journalist, Gianluca Di Marzio.
The Croatian wonderkid has been heavily linked with a move to north London in recent months, as he enters the final 12 months of his contract.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is understood to have met Dinamo Zagreb officials on no fewer than three occasions already this season, as he looks to conclude a reported €20million deal for the teenager.
Halilovic has a €15million release clause written into his current contract, however, Tottenham are ready to pay more than that figure in order to ensure his future is at White Hart Lane.
The one problem the Premier League outfit have, is convincing the player's father - a first-team coach with Dinamo Zagreb - that his son's best interests lie in England, with Andre Villas-Boas reportedly ready to blood the 17-year-old in the club's development squad, as opposed to promoting him straight into the senior team.
With wages of around €1.5million per season already agreed in principle, Halilovic and his representatives just need to be convinced that he'll get a chance to impress. But, as talks continue to stall, the transfer looks increasingly unlikely to happen.