Barca youngster Alen Halilovic is set to complete a loan move to Sporting Gijon before the weekend.
A clause in the 19-year-old’s contract meant he would be a part of the Barcelona first-team squad this season, but with the likelihood of few games, the Catalan giants always felt a loan elsewhere would be the best option.
Another important factor has been the friendship of Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, with Sporting Gijon boss Abelardo Fernandez, who he believes will aid the development of the talented young player.
In addition, the agreement between Barcelona and Sporting, indicates that Halilovic will be guaranteed to play at least 60% of their La Liga games, through the course of the 2015-16 season. Important experience in the Spanish top-flight, which will certainly be welcome for the player.
This eventual move to El Molinon hasn’t been without its delays. Bundesliga outfit SV Hamburg were close to a deal, but eventually pulled out. Meanwhile, Premier League trio West Ham United, Everton and Stoke City, all made enquiries via his representatives, which were ultimately rejected by Barcelona.
Further complicating matters for Sporting was the father of the player, Sejad Halilovic, who earlier this week was reported to be against his son moving to the newly promoted Asturian club. His preference was for Alen to join a club competing in Europe.
However, it appears the exciting young attacking midfielder has listened to the Barcelona coaching team, their recommendations and suggestions, feeling that remaining in Spain would aid his development best of all.
In addition, his agent Miquel Sors told El Comercio: “The footballer wants to play to gain confidence, grow sportingly and then return to Barcelona.”
The reports go on to suggest Halilovic will complete the loan move by Friday, but with so little time to work with his new team-mates, it is unlikely he will feature against Real Madrid on Sunday.
Sporting start the 2015-16 season with one of the most difficult games of their calendar, when they host Los Blancos on home turf at El Molinon, hoping to cause an early upset in La Liga.