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Sunderland set to make audacious bid for Barca youngster

| 16.10.2014

Sunderland are looking to strengthen their squad in January with an ambitious loan move for Barcelona B’s rising star Alen Halilovic.

The Croatian midfielder, who has been likened to Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, joined Barca B in the summer and after just six appearances in the Segunda Division Nou Camp coaches already see him above that level.

Now they are considering sending him out on loan in January to play at a higher level and Gus Poyet is ready to make an audacious move to bring his talent to the Stadium of Light.

But the Black Cats face stiff competition from Spanish side Celta Vigo, who have already made contact with Luis Enrique’s side, and now the Catalan club must decide what is best for the Croatia international.

Halilovic, who has made six appearances for his country, is one of the hottest properties in European football and was courted by Manchester United, Tottenham and Real Madrid before signing for Barcelona.

The 18-year-old burst onto the scene with seven goals in 44 appearances for Dinamo Zagreb in the Croatian top flight and has featured in Croatia’s European Championship 2016 qualifying wins over Malta and Azerbaijan.

Halilovic’s potential arrival on Wearside would be a huge boost to a Sunderland side which has struggled to score goals in the top flight.

The youngster’s creativity would certainly provide a huge boost to a side looking to break into the top 10 of the league, an eventuality available at 7/2 with Ladbrokes.

Elsewhere, the Mackems are in talks with experienced French full-back Anthony Reveillere over a potential move to the North-East.

The former Napoli star, who is available on a free transfer, is set to train with Poyet’s side and prove his fitness ahead of any deal to join the Premier League outfit.

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Oliver Yew