Barcelona has snapped up Croatian wonder-kid Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb for the massive sum of €2.2. ESPNFC reported the story, and it has been confirmed this morning by an official statement on Barcelona's website.
Remember Halilovic? He's one of the hottest young players in world football, and Spurs have been linked to him since last June. There was a point in time where Spurs had locked down the signing of Halilovic and young Zagreb defender Tin Jevadj for a combined £17m, but then his father got involved, looking for assurances of first team playing time and support for Alen's younger siblings, and the deal fell apart. Tin Jedvaj ended up going to Roma for £4.4m.
Now, Barcelona has paid a ridiculous €2.2m for Halilovic's services, and young Alen will almost certainly toil in relative obscurity on Barça B for the foreseeable future, because you just don't break into a side like Barcelona when you're 17 unless you're Lionel Messi.
I don't think I have to overstate how incredibly frustrating it is to watch a young player of Halilovic's caliber slip through your fingers only to sign with Barcelona for seven times less than you offered. What it does tell me is that, verbal "agreement" aside, there was realistically no way that Alen Halilovic was ever going to actually sign with Tottenham Hotspur. Halilovic's family was clearly using Tottenham's bid to drum up further interest in Alen with the intent of signing him with a bigger club. It worked. And that's just football.
Halilovic is destined for stardom, and he'll have every opportunity to achieve that at Barcelona. Tottenham, meanwhile, took a swing for the fences on Halilovic, and that's not a bad thing to do. Looks like we at least connected pretty solidly with the ball, even if we ended up flying out to right field.