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Halilovic happy at Hamburg

Alen Halilovic says he is not bothered by a possible return to Barcelona at season’s end, claiming he is happy with his new surrounds at Hamburg.

Hamburg paid €5million to claim the Croatian international’s signature on a permanent deal in July, but Spanish champions Barca kept a buy-back clause, with the option for a €3m fee after at least one season.

Halilovic however, says he is not bothered by that.

“I’m not thinking about whether Barca is going to exercise their buy-back option. I’m only interested with the here and now,” he said.

Although his form dipped somewhat late in the LaLiga season last term, Halilovic showed glimpses of what made him so highly sought after at Dinamo Zagreb, tallying three goals and five assists in 36 league appearances for Sporting Gijon.

Playing all but two matches as Sporting survived the drop, the 20-year-old regularly displayed calm and close control at full speed in the transitional phase, only just missing out on a Croatian national team spot for Euro 2016.

For the upcoming Bundesliga season, Halilovic is keen to play a pivotal role in a young Hamburg attack, alongside other recent signings in Filip Kostic, Bobby Wood and Luca Waldschmidt.

“At the moment everything is excellent. I’ve been received very well, and I have team-mates who speak Croatian which helps greatly,” he said.

“I’ll continue to concentrate only on football, and consequently work, the reason I signed for Barcelona in the first place.”

“I like to play and isolate one-on-one, and to gamble a little when passing, similarly to [Lionel] Messi.” 

Wed 10 Aug, 2016
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