Expect a bidding war for Alen Halilovic in the summer.
The Barcelona midfielder’s agent has revealed that four “world-class” teams are interested in his highly-rated client.
Halilovic, 19, has spent the season out on loan at Sporting Gijon. If Barcelona aren’t willing to promote him to the first team, there are a number of clubs ready to sign him in the transfer window.
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Of course, Zoran Stojadinovic’s words could just be a ploy to scare Barca into reassuring Halilovic that his future remains at the Camp Nou.
On the flip side, the Spanish club haven’t failed to sell players with a lot of talent who simply aren’t worth keeping around. See: Bojan Krkic.
And though Stojadinovic claims Halilovic wants to stay at Barcelona, he claims there is “real interest” from some European teams.
“There is a real interest from two English clubs and two other Germans, all of them world-class. Barcelona will not address this issue until they finish the season,” the agent told Goal.
“The desire of Alen is very clear; to go back to Barcelona, take minutes and score goals."
It’s not just English and German clubs who have their sights set on the youngster. Goal add that Villarreal, Sevilla and Valencia are all keen to keep him in Spain, with Los Che making a €7 million bid that includes a €20m buy-back clause for the player.
Development at Gijon
Halilovic joined Barca from Dinamo Zagreb in 2014 and was unsurprisingly placed in their B team.
Barca chiefs clearly thought highly enough to send him to Gijon for this season to give him a taste of first-team action, and Halilovic has performed admirably.
His five goals in 35 appearances were never going to be enough to prevent a relegation battle but the sole purpose of the move was for personal development, and most would say that has been achieved.
Praise from Iniesta
So, it would be surprising to see the Croatian leave Barcelona without getting a taste of first team action.
Especially when Andres Iniesta admitted Halilovic fits the mould Barcelona look for after he spent the summer of 2014 training with the seniors.
“We’ve all seen that Halilovic is a very dynamic player with a lot of quality and a good profile that you look for at Barca,” Iniesta said, per Football Espana.
“He’s a player who has the right attitude and is killed in one-on-ones. He’s young and can improve.”
Halilovic may have to settle for another season out on loan, or playing for the B team, but he looks primed to slot into the position Iniesta vacates when the 31-year-old moves on.
Does Halilovic have the potential to fill Iniesta's boots? Let us know in the comments section below!