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Luuk de Jong enjoying Newcastle loan; Zagreb rejected Barca bid for Halilovic

On-loan Newcastle United forward Luuk de Jong has revealed he hopes to secure a permanent move to St James' Park in the summer.

On-loan Newcastle United forward Luuk de Jong has revealed he hopes to secure a permanent move to St James’ Park in the summer.

De Jong, 23, joined Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach in a deal worth €15 million in the summer of 2012 but has since fallen out-of-favour with manager Lucien Favre.

Instead, Favre has favoured the attacking duo of Max Kruse and  Raffael, who signed for Glabach from FC Dynamo Kyiv last summer.

The pair have worked well together this season, combining for 17 goals and nine assists in 40 league appearances, which made de Jong surplus to requirements last month.

With Papiss Cissé struggling mightily in front of goal, de Jong will likely see a lot of action in the Magpies’ upcoming English Premier League fixtures against Tottenham, Aston Villa and Hull City.

“I would like to be important for this team, in terms of goals and assists, and work hard,” said de Jong.

“I’m on loan with an option to stay and I would like to go on with this option if it is possible. It’s a really big and nice club. I am happy that I have come here, even if it’s been a tough start.

“After the Sunderland defeat, it wasn’t a nice place, the disappointment was strong. That was a game we couldn’t lose and we did, of course.

“But I have a really good feeling about the place. I think we can go on now and do better.”

De Jong — priced at 9/4 to score at anytime against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday — has failed to score in 16 combined appearances, albeit just two starts, for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Newcastle United this term.

Zagreb rejected Barca bid for Halilovic

Dinamo Zagreb vice-president Zdravko Mamić has confirmed the Prva HNL champions have turned down an offer from FC Barcelona for teenage starlet Alen Halilović.

Halilović, 17, has been one of the hottest prospects in European football since making his first-team debut at the age of 16 years and 101 days on 27 September 2012.

The 17-year-old ace has since become a full Croatia international, having represented his country on three occasions, while totaling three goals in 45 appearances in all competitions for his club.

“We have received an offer from Barcelona for Halilović, but it was not accepted because we, the player and his family were not entirely satisfied with the terms,” Mamić told Sportski, according to Sky Sports.

“The story does not stop there. Barcelona still want the transfer to happen so we will see how everything will continue.

“We would like to see Halilović at our club for at least three years.”

Halilović is also attracting interest from a host of English clubs, including the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Mon 10 February, 2014
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