Sunderland fail in pursuit of Barcelona wonderkid - report

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Sunderland have failed in their attempts to sign Barcelona's Alen Halilovic on loan, according to a report in Spain.

Sunderland have failed in their pursuit of Barcelona wonderkid Alen Halilovic, according to reports in Spain.

The Croatian international had been the subject of a loan bid from the Black Cats, but Barcelona have turned down their advances. 

Barca feel that the youngster is better suited to playing with the 'B' side and staying in the club's environment, as he learns the style of football they play following a summer move. 

Barcelona's style is famously demanding and reports suggest that the Catalan giants feel his development would be better suited to remaining at the Nou Camp rather than getting first-team football.

Halilovic burst onto the scene at 16-years-old when playing for Dinamo Zagreb and he is expected to be one of the stars of the next generation.

At the age of 18, he already has six caps for his country and his form in the Croatian league was nothing short of sensational for his age.

He is unlikely to be given first-team opportunities at Barcelona this season, given the depth of quality they have in the attacking midfield position, but he will continue learning their philosophy at the youth-levels.

Gus Poyet had wanted to bring him in to help add creativity to his Sunderland team, but the audacious attempt has not paid dividends. 

Sunderland have done some brilliant business by utilising the loan market in recent seasons, but this has been a set-back.

It remains to be seen who Poyet will next turn to as he looks to add guile to his side, but he is clearly willing to use temporary measures to strengthen his squad in January, when he should have some more funds given the amount of players the club are planning to offload. 

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