Sporting Gijon have struck a deal to take Barcelona’s teenage Croatia attacking midfielder Alen Halilovic on loan for the season, the La Liga clubs said on Friday.
The 19-year-old, nicknamed the ‘Balkan Messi’ after Argentina forward Lionel, joined Barca from Dynamo Zagreb last year and made 30 appearances for the B side, scoring four goals.
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He made his first-team debut in January in a King’s Cup match against Elche and also featured for Luis Enrique’s outfit on their recent pre-season tour of North America.
He became the youngest player to feature for Croatia in June 2013 a week before his 17th birthday and was the youngest to play for Zagreb the previous year.