Barcelona fear Halilovic’s family are throwing away his career

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The Croatia international was once compared to Lionel Messi but the Blaugrana currently have no intention of exercising their right to bring him back to Camp Nou. alen-halilovic-hamburg-bundesliga_1kw5cqr7wi4zj110v563sz986n Barcelona fear the influence of Alen Halilovic’s family is derailing the young midfielder’s once-promising career, Goal has learned.

The Spanish champions have a two-year buy-back clause of €10 million in the deal that took Halilovic to Hamburg for €5m in the summer, but currently do not intend to exercise it as a result of concerns over the player’s trajectory. Before agreeing to move to Germany, Barca were hopeful Halilovic would stay in Spain and fielded interest from Villarreal, Sevilla and, in particular, Valencia. A deal with Valencia was very close to completion before the interference of Halilovic’s father, who demanded a commission worth 50 per cent (€2.5m) of his son’s transfer fee. Los Che declined to pay and were also put off by Halilovic’s high wage demands, and Villarreal and Sevilla subsequently ended their pursuit of the Croatia international as a result. Hamburg also refused to pay the commission but were able to get a deal over the line as, by that point, they were the only club still in the race. Halilovic’s career in Germany started promisingly under coach Bruno Labbadia but he was sacked in September, and the team has adopted a more defensive approach under his successor Markus Gisdol. Hamburg, like Barcelona, have become concerned by the influence of the player’s family in terms of his willingness to make sacrifices and trust his club’s handling of him as he looks to establish himself in senior football. Barca grew increasingly unhappy during the 2014-15 season, when Halilovic was playing for Barcelona B and his family hired a personal coach with different ideas as to how to manage his development than Eusebio, the team coach at the time. As a result, the player once compared to Lionel Messi has been cut out of the Blaugrana’s thinking. Without a drastic change, he will not return to Camp Nou before his buy-back clause expires in 2018.

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