Barcelona have had a bid for Croatian starlet Alen Halilovic turned down, according to Dinamo Zagreb director Zdravko Mamic, with the Catalan club apparently willing to go above four million euros for the teenager.
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Halilovic is just 17, but has already featured for Dinamo in the Champions League, and gained three senior caps for Croatia. His displays in an attacking midfield position have already led to comparisons with national captain and Real Madrid star Luka Modric and even a tag as "the Balkan Messi," and clubs including Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Madrid have reportedly sent scouts to watch him in action.
Barca may now have stolen a march in the race to sign one of Europe’s most sought-after teenagers, with Mamic suggesting to Sportske Novosti in quotes picked up in Mundo Deportivo that another higher offer is likely to be made by the Catalan club.
"[The offer] has not been accepted because neither Dinamo nor the Halilovic family are fully satisfied with the conditions," he said. "However, the story does not end here, and Barcelona are pressing for the transfer to go through."
Sport claims that the initial Barca bid was for 3.6 million euros, and speculates that a Barca contingent is to travel to Croatia in the coming days to finalise an agreement which would see Halilovic at the Camp Nou from the start of the 2014-15 campaign.