Barcelona starlet Alen Halilovic could make a new loan move away from Camp Nou in the summer transfer window after an impressive campaign at Sporting Gijon, his agent has confirmed. Zoran Stojadinovic claimed Valencia had already approached him to express an interest in securing his services and the 19-year-old forward was said to be keen to continue his development at the Mestalla.
The Champions League winners signed the Croatia international in 2014 after he garnered comparisons with the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic during his time at Dinamo Zagreb. The teenager spent a first season in Barcelona's second team to adapt to the country before being loaned to Sporting last summer to get more experience in the top flight. He has since showed glimpses of his enormous talent, scoring five goals and providing five assists in 30 appearances.
Yet, Barcelona's technical secretary Robert Fernandez recently suggested that he could be farmed out again in the summer to continue his development elsewhere. And with Lionel Messi installed in his position it looks unlikely he would have many chances to break into the first-team at the Nou Camp.
Stojadinovic also claimed in an interview with Valencia radio show Tiempo de Descuento they will not be making a decision until the end of the season as Sporting fights to avoid relegation to the second division. He said that his first intention would be to return to Barcelona but admits another loan move was the most likely option amid Valencia's continued interest in securing his services.
"Halilovic has three years left on his contract with Barcelona, Barcelona have 100% of his right so anything (about his future) needs to be discussed with Barcelona. They sent him on loan last summer to continue his development and we need to talk with them to see what they want for the next season," Stojadinovic said, adding that a loan deal was more probable as his release clause was set at €35m (£28.3, $ 40m) and Barcelona will probably not let him move on a permanent basis.
"His clause is €35m. It is true that there is interest from Valencia but we have not sat down with anyone for something serious because first we must talk with Barcelona. I have met many times with Robert (Barcelona technical secretary) and people from the club and my opinion is that Barcelona don't want to sell him.
"But It would not be correct to speak about it now because Sporting are playing for their survival. We want to wait until the end of the season, meet with Barcelona and we'll see what they say.
"It is true that Valencia have contacted me. The first option would be to play at Barcelona. He joined them despite having better offers from England because he is a perfect fit for Barcelona. I wish he goes back there in the summer but if the club believes that it is still too soon, we would consider other options.
"Valencia is one of the biggest clubs in Spain. If he has to leave Barcelona it would be a very good option. Halilovic likes Valencia very much. It would be an ideal club to continue his development."