Manchester United dealt blow in hopes of stealing 'next Messi'

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Manchester United's hopes of potentially profiting from Barcelona's controversial transfer ban appear to have been dealt a blow, with the lawyer of Alen Halilovic having stated his belief that his client will still join the Catalan giants.

Croatian playmaker Halilovic - who has been dubbed 'the next Lionel Messi' by some - was reported to have joined Barcelona on a five-year deal late last month, a move that had been thrown into considerable doubt this week after the La Liga champions were banned from signing players for the next two windows due to breaching rules regarding the transfers of U18 players.

Such a move had led some to reports that Manchester United - along with close rivals City - had been put on alert with regards to Halilovic and could feature in a secondary fight to sign the Dinamo Zagreb starlet.

However, those hopes could well be scuppered with Jean Louis Dupont clearly under the impression that Haliovic - who has already earned three senior international caps - will move to the Camp Nou as previously planned.

"I can't imagine for a moment that my client will not play at Barcelona," he was quoted by Spanish publication Marca.

"The deal was done before the ban."

If indeed Halilovic does go on to complete his move to Barcelona, you wouldn't imagine that Manchester United would be too devastated by the news.

Although the 17-year-old is unquestionably a promising talent, David Moyes - who has struggled badly during what has been a truly difficult first season in charge at Old Trafford - will surely be in the market for more experienced players when entering the transfer market once again this summer.

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