Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Alen Halilovic, after Dinamo Zagreb manager Zoran Mamic insisted that the midfielder will definitely join Barcelona this summer.
Sky Sports reports how doubts have been raised over the Croatian playmaker's proposed move to Camp Nou, after the Catalan club were hit with a 14-month transfer ban by FIFA, for breaching rules in relation to the 'international transfers of non-Spanish minors'.
There have been suggestions that Red Devils boss David Moyes has been alerted to Halilovic's potential availability, and was planning an attempt to hijack Barcelona's deal for the 17-year-old starlet and lure him to Old Trafford.
However, according to the talented teenager's current manager, his switch to Spain will still go ahead regardless of the outcome of Barcelona's forthcoming appeal.
"I called the Barcelona board and got an assurance that the sentence does not affect the transfer of Alen Halilovic," explained Mamic in an interview with Sportske novosti. "Everything is fine, there is no need for speculation.
"Alen will move to Barcelona after this season, that is for sure. The contract is signed and you can be sure that nothing unusual will happen."
Given that Mamic also acts as Dinamo Zagreb's director of sport, there is no reason not to believe his claims regarding the Halilovic deal, meaning Manchester United are unlikely to secure the signature of the exciting young talent, who has been dubbed in some quarters as the 'new Lionel Messi'.