Arsenal FC are interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur transfer target Alen Halilovic.
Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb has some of the most talented youngsters in Europe in their squad presently. Alen Halilovic is widely considered to be the best Croatian talent to have emerged in recent times and has been scouted by a lot of clubs across Europe. Real Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Manchester City have all been linked with Halilovic, along with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
Spurs were considered as the favourites to land the 17-year-old in summer. Reports from Croatia suggested that Tottenham were close to signing both Alen Halilovic and Tin Jedvaj. The transfer fee involved in this deal was expected to be around £15million, along with some add-ons and performance bonuses. But the deal fell off at the last moment and there are contradicting reports about the reason behind Spurs’ failure to land the talented duo. Halilovic’s agent insisted that Dinamo Zagreb were demanding more than what Tottenham were willing to pay, while other reports suggest that his father blocked the move as he wanted Spurs to guarantee him playing time, which the London club were unwilling to commit.
Alen Haliliovic came under the spot light at a very young age. The midfielder is extremely talented and made a total of 21 appearances for Zagreb last season, three of which came in the Champions League as a substitute. Halilovic is also the son of a former footballer, Sejad Haliliovic – who has played international football for both Croatia and Bosnia, and has played in the La Liga for Real Vallodolid. The 17-year-old became the youngest (he was 16 then) player to play in the Croatian league when he made his debut in the Eternal derby against Hajduk Split. He is also became the youngest goal scorer in the league, when he found the back of the net against Slaven Belupo. During Zagreb’s match against PSG in the group stages of the Champions League, he also became the second youngest player in the history of the competition. These are quite impressive achievements for the youngster, who only signed his first professional contract back in 2012. Incredibly, Halilovic has also made his debut for the Croatian senior national team in a friendly against Portugal this year.
CSKA Moscow and Bayern Munich have been linked with him in recent times, but it is believed that Halilovic is keeping his options open at this point. Arsenal have also been previously linked with him, but the Gunners haven’t made any official contact with Zagreb regarding his sale. But Arsene Wenger is believed to be highly impressed with his development and could make a move for him in January. Like Tottenham though, Arsenal are unlikely to guarantee him regular playing time as the current squad contains a host of quality players who can play in the role of an attacking midfielder. But what could work for the Gunners is Arsene Wenger’s and the club’s reputation of developing young talent. Also with Tomas Rosicky heading towards the fag end of his career, he could be the perfect replacement for the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder.
Tottenham haven’t given up hope on securing a deal for Halilovic yet, but now they will face competition from Arsenal. Arsene Wenger, who is expected to spend in January, could look to add this highly rated Croatian international to his squad, right under the nose of Spurs. We surely haven’t heard the last of this transfer rumour.