Transfer news: Barcelona complete signing of Croatian starlet Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb in €2.2m (£1.8m) deal
Halilovic had attracted attention from across Europe but will head to Spain in the summer after agreeing to join the Catalan side
Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Croatian teenage sensation Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb on an initial €2.2m (£1.8m) deal.
Halilovic has attracted attention from Europe’s top clubs but Barcelona have beaten off competition from the likes of Manchester City to complete the deal and make an announcement on Thursday.
The Dinamo academy product will head to the Nou Camp on a five-year deal, with the agreed fee set to increase based on bonuses regarding his performance in the years to come. The attacking midfielder was left speechless by the move, and while he left his beloved Dinamo with a heavy heart, Halilovic couldn’t contain his excitement at playing for the reigning La Liga champions.
“It's difficult to find the words to describe how I feel,” Halilovic said when speaking to Barcelona's official website. “Many thanks to Dinamo, who will always remain with me as my first love and as the club where I first began to realise my dreams.
“I want to thank all the coaches at the Dinamo academy, and all the supporters.
“Of course, Barcelona is something special. It's the club I've loved since I was a boy and I feel honoured to have the opportunity to play for them.
“First of all, I want to win the double with Dinamo, and then concern myself with my new club.”
Halilovic will complete the season with the Croatian side before heading to Spain, where he will link up with the player he has been nicknamed after, Lionel Messi. Dubbed the ‘Balkan Messi’ by Dinamo supporters, Halilovic will have a long way to go if he is to live up to the expectation that has already built-up over his future.
He made his international debut last season for Croatia to become their youngest ever player, having already set new records for the youngest ever goalscorers in the Croatian top flight and making his Champions League debut against FC Porto.
Latest in Sport
Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup following Fifa arrests
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
Psychic penguins have made their pick for Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the FA Cup final...
- 2 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote