Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham would appear to have received a boost in the race to sign Alen Halilovic, with the Croatian midfielder having professed his 'love' for English football.
17-year-old Halilovic - who has been dubbed the 'new Luka Modric' by some due to his striking similarities to his compatriot - is attracting a lot of attention from abroad having impressed during the early stages of his professional career with Prva HNL champions Dinamo Zagreb.
The playmaker, who has already earned three senior international caps for Niko Kovač's side, appears to be particularly interesting teams from England, with North London foes Arsenal and Tottenham having both been linked with his signature in recent months.
Indeed, the latter were even said to be close to completing a deal worth £15 million - £12 million up front and £3 million in add-ons - in October, but nothing concrete ever materialised with Champions League holders Bayern Munich also reportedly keen to sign Halilovic.
However, despite it previously looking as if Pep Guardiloa's Bavarian giants had manoeuvred themselves into pole position in the race to sign Halilovic, Arsenal and Tottenham - and indeed any other Premier League outfit pondering a potential switch for the midfield starlet - will presumably be significantly bolstered by the player's recent statements.
"I can confirm that last summer I was close to moving abroad, a transfer from Dinamo was not far away. I can also tell you that this club still wants me," he told Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview that was quoted by Sky Sports.
"Clubs from Italy? I didn't speak with Inter Milan or Juventus. I will just say that I love English and Spanish football the most."
It is not clear which team Halilovic is referring to when he insists that one team remains interested him, but it has been speculated that the club in question is Tottenham - not Arsenal.