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Everton linked with playmaker as Barcelona consider loan move

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Everton have apparently been put on "high alert" as Barcelona consider a loan deal for teenager Alen Halilovic.

The reason for the cynical tone is because the story stems from the Daily Mail, who claim Everton will rival West Ham for the Croatia playmaker.

The 19-year-old has represented Croatia at every youth level from under-14s to under-21s before becoming Croatia's youngest ever international debutant at the age of 16 in June 2013. He joined Barcelona from Dynamo Zagreb in 2014, initially joining Barcelona B.

The Mail claims Barca are keen to expose Halilovic to first-team football by sending him out on loan. Sevilla are believed to be front-runners with Everton and the Hammers close behind.

This rumour does need to be treated with skepticism given the source, though Everton's burgeoning relationship with Barcelona does add some credence to the story.

He also plays in a position Roberto Martinez is keen to fill. The Spaniard is looking for a number 10 to play behind lone striker Romelu Lukaku.

His lack of experience would be a concern (he has yet to make a senior appearance for Barcelona), though we said that about Gerard Deulofeu two years ago.

Perhaps what is of more concern is the lack of credible reports regarding permanent signings. At present the only rumours of incomings are loan deals while key players such as John Stones and James McCarthy are being linked with moves away.

A degree of patience is needed given we are still in July, as a healthy dose of faith and trust that the club are busy behind the scenes.

It can't be denied though that frustration and concern is growing among the fanbase as the season draws ever nearer without any more significant additions.