Birmingham City have been dealt a huge blow to their hopes of keeping Alen Halilovic at St. Andrew’s this summer.
That’s according to a claim made by We Are Birmingham, who revealed that Lee Bowyer’s side and the 24-year-old midfielder have failed to reach an agreement regarding a contract extension, meaning that the Croatian international looks set to leave the club upon the expiry of his current deal at the end of the month.
The Blues manager had previously gone on the record revealing his desire to keep Halilovic at the club this summer, stating his belief that the £720k-rated man brings “something different” to his side, as well as tipping the midfielder to become an “even better player” with a full pre-season under his belt.
Having openly stated his wish for the club to do all they can to retain the services of Halilovic this summer, the fact that the midfielder now looks likely to be moving on to pastures new is sure to leave Bowyer gutted.
Indeed, despite a distinct lack of direct goal involvements, the former AC Milan man nevertheless impressed for Bowyer’s side following his arrival on a free transfer back in November.
Over his 17 Championship appearances, only nine of which came as starts, the 24-year-old managed just one goal, provided no assists and created no big chances for his teammates, with these metrics seeing the attacking midfielder earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.65 – ranking him as Birmingham’s 19th-best performer in the second tier.
However, the one goal Halilovic did score was a rather remarkable 25-yard curler that saw Birmingham clinch a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers, while the 10-time capped Croat also often dazzled with his trickery and creativity in the Blues midfield.
As such, the fact that the former Barcelona player once dubbed the next Lionel Messi, as well as a “phenomenal” talent by Miroslav Bicanic, looks set to once again be searching for a new club this summer is undoubtedly a disappointment for Birmingham, as it feels we did not quite see Halilovic reach the limit of his potential during his short time with the Blues.