The Croatian Messi is going to the Bundesliga.
German club Hamburger SV announced on Thursday the transfer of 20-year-old Croatian midfielder Alen Halilovic, who will sign a five-year contract with his new team. According to multiple reports in Spain, Hamburg paid a €5 million fee to Barcelona to acquire the player on a permanent deal. However, the Catalan giants will keep a buy-back clause, and are able to bring Alen back for a €3 million fee after at least one season, sources told Barça Blaugranes.
Halilovic is one of the best young prospects in football, and joined Barcelona B in 2014. He played well for the youth squad, and was then loaned to Sporting Gijón last season to gain more experience. Alen had a productive campaign and became a fan favorite in Gijón, and was hoping to return to Barça and gain first team promotion this season.
But coach Luis Enrique still wants to see more from the youngster, and Halilovic now moves to the Bundesliga. Hamburg is a good club for Alen, at least in theory. It won't compete for titles, but it's not a team that fights against relegation like in previous seasons. Halilovic will have plenty of chances to be the star man for a mid-table side, and he has the chance to face European behemoths like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Hamburg is also a huge, traditional club in Germany, which is a different kind of pressure than Gijón or Barça B. If Halilovic is able to thrive at a big pressure situation, he will be ready for Barça. It will be nice to have him at Barça, but he squad is stacked right now. He deserves more minutes, and Hamburg looks like a great situation.
Good luck, Alen. Kick ass in Germany and join Barça sooner rather than later, please.