Father of Barcelona starlet Alen Halilovic wants his son playing in Europe

FC Barcelona

Doubts have arisen over the young Croatian talent completing a loan move to Sporting Gijon.

Croatian starlet Alen Halilovic was tipped for a move to Bundesliga outfit SV Hamburg, but the German side apparently pulling out of a proposed loan deal, has seemingly placed newly promoted La Liga side Sporting Gijon as favourites for his signature.

One problem has arisen though, with reports from Catalan outlet Mundo Deportivo, suggesting that his father Sejad against the idea of his son moving to El Molinon.

The claims are that Sejad Halilovic would prefer his son to join a club competing in Europe, either in the Champions League or the Europa League, mindful that performing well with a higher profile team would favour his chances of making the Croatia squad, should they qualify for the EURO 2016 tournament in France next summer.

Since their promotion from the Segunda and as they prepare to compete in the Spanish top flight this season, Sporting Gijon have held talks with Barcelona and with Halilovic. Part of the proposal has been guaranteeing the talented young star would play at least 60% of all games.

However, over the weekend and with the Asturian club pushing further to close a loan deal, in comments to local newspaper El Comercio, manager Abelardo Fernandez acknowledged: "I have spoken with the player personally and he's a footballer who, if he comes, can offer us something. But we'll have to wait."

Despite a loan move for Halilovic to Sporting being backed by Barcelona and their manager Luis Enrique, whether the 19-year-old joins "is practically more his decision than ours." Abelardo accepted with caution.

Should the move to Sporting ultimately be rejected, there is certainly no shortage of clubs interested in loaning Halilovic. In England, there has been widely reported interest from West Ham United, although their early exit from the Europa League may now scupper any chances of a successful move.

Likewise, Stoke City have been situated as one potential destination for Halilovic, although without them competing in Europe this season, that option also looks increasingly difficult, if the wishes of his father are taken into account.

Meanwhile, according to Catalan press reports, Borussia Dortmund and Grasshopper Zurich have also made enquiries, with both clubs competing in Europe. Only the coming days will seemingly reveal where Halilovic ends up playing during the 2015-16 season.

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