West Ham have been handed a major transfer boost ahead of the close of the transfer window, with Barcelona’s technical secretary, Robert Fernandez, having revealed that Alen Halilovic “will be loaned” out before the deadline passes.
The Hammers have been linked with the teenager, who is a player manager Slaven Bilic admires after calling him up while in charge of the Croatian national side, of late as the club continue to build a strong squad.
Halilovic – who has been compared to compatriot Luka Modric in the past – is a skilful and nimble attacking midfielder, but despite his talent his route from Barca’s B team to the senior side appears to be blocked by a host of experienced stars.
And with the club’s ‘second team’ having been relegated to the third tier of Spanish football, a move away to gain top-class experience and further his development is on the cards, according to Fernandez:
“Halilovic will be loaned,” he told Sport. “We are looking for the best option for him, one that’s right for him to grow with.”
The 19-year-old could act as back-up to the likes of Dimitri Payet, although West Ham’s early Europa League exit may have an impact on Bilic’s transfer business.