Hamburg

Former Barça promise Alen Halilovic offered to Leganés

Things have not gone according to plan for the young Croatian midfielder at Hamburg. His agents are seeking a club but there are no takers as yet.
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El futbolista croata Alen Halilovic juega el balón durante un partido del Hamburgo.
Oliver Hardt Bongarts/Getty Images

Alen Halilovic’s move to Hamburg from Barcelona has not gone very well for the Croatian midfielder, starting only one game for his club so far in 2016-17.

Such is his frustration in the Bundesliga that his representatives have been trying to find an escape route back to Spain and have been making calls to some top-flight clubs but so far they have met with little success.

The "Balkan Messi"

Leganés were approached but Asier Garitano has other priorities, chief among them a central defender and a new keeper.

Sporting, where Halilovic spent last season on loan, and Espanyol have also been sounded out over a loan or a permanent deal for the 20-year-old, who was snapped up by Barcelona for 2.2 million euros in 2014 from Dynamo Zagreb, where he was known as the “Balkan Messi.”

Halilovic enjoyed the first half of his loan spell at El Molinón last season and put in some eye-catching performances but in the second half of 2015-16, when Sporting needs were more pragmatic, the artful midfielder disappeared from the starting 11.

Sale to Hamburg

When he returned to parent club Barcelona he did not feature in Luis Enrique’s plans and was sold to Hamburg for five million euros. However, Halilovic has made only seven appearances, totaling 164 minutes, and has not played at all since October.

In an attempt to kick-start his career his agents are trying to secure a move back to Spain, but it should be remembered that Halilovic was at Barcelona B when the side were relegated and often made the headlines for the wrong reasons.