Barcelona have reached an agreement with Dinamo Zagreb to sign Arsenal and Tottenham target Alen Halilovic next season, according to Croatian reports.
After the reported signing of Marc-Andre ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach, Barcelona's football director Andoni Zubizarreta has travelled to Croatia to seal a deal for his next target but could not speak to Dinamo Zagreb president Zdravko Mamic, as he was in Madrid.
Mamic wants to speak to Real Madrid as well as their great Spanish rivals, because Los Blancos have also shown their interest in the player dubbed the new Luka Modric. This may help to persuade Barca to increase their offer,which was initially between €6-7m.
Tottenham were close to signing the 17-year-old last summer, but the deal collapsed at the last minute and Halilovic stayed at Dinamo for a further season. Last January reports claimed that Spurs were set to renew their interest in the young midfielder, while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was also monitoring his development.
However it now seems Barcelona are going to win the race for Halilovic, unless the London clubs take immediate action.
Barcelona want to do exactly the same as they did with former Manchester City youth player Denis Suarez last summer, and enrol Halilovic in the club's youth academy. The initial idea is for Halilovic to join Barcelona B for further progress and allow the coaches to see whether his qualities allow him to play with the first team.
However this is unlikely to convince Hallilovic and his family, who want guarantees that he will enjoy opportunities with the first team. Otherwise, the negotiation could fail.
Despite his youth, Halilovic has already earned three caps for Croatia at senior level and is a pivotal player at Dinamo, where he has already made 43 appearances, including three in last season's Champions League.