According to reports in the Daily Mail, Sunderland, swooned by Gerard Deulofeu’s semi-success at Everton, have made an enquiry to loan a talented teenager from the Barcelona ranks.
Croatian conjurer-in-training Alen Halilovic is the wonder boy Black Cats boss Gus Poyet wants after being impressed by the 18-year-old’s performances in Los Blaugrana’s B-side.
Coaches at the Catalan club are of the opinion that Halilovic is already too good to play in the Spanish second tier and are looking to loan him out in January.
Celta Vigo are providing some closer-to-home competition for the Wearsiders – 9/2 shots to win at Southampton next – but based on the performances of these duds unwitting clubs have borrowed from Barcelona, they’d be better off leaving the youngster be.
Being on the Camp Nou outfit’s books alone doesn’t make a world-beater, as this bunch will attest.
Much like Halilovic, Britney Spears and Melissa Joan Hart, Keirrison was a teen sensation in his native Brazil and found himself caught in the Blaugrana tractor beam in 2009.
He’d scored 11 goals in 19 appearances for Palmeiras, but his third decade on Planet Earth didn’t bring as much success and he wasn’t handed as much as a substitute appearance in La Liga.
Five separate loan spells followed, two in Europe, three back in Brazil and, when his Barcelona deal expired last summer, he returned to his first club Coritiba having seen his sky-high stock collapse in some style.
The Dutch winger wasn’t aided by a knee ligament injury during his first season in Catalunya, but after shredding it at first club PSV and establishing himself as a Netherlands regular no less, Afellay now struggles to get a game at Olympiakos.
Recently released by Barcelona, Spanish youngster Cuenca was made all the more marketable after graduating from the famed La Masia talent school.
This was all the convincing Ajax needed to take him on loan in January 2013, though they were quickly made to regret the decision and only afforded him three appearances before a knee injury curtailed his campaign.
Arguably the biggest don’t-believe-the-hype advocate when it comes to renting esteemed Barcelona prodigies, Bojan has graced myriad stages and is yet to deliver anything close to what his potential promised.
Now at Stoke City, where he’s anything but a staple starter, the 24-year-old has had cracks of the Roma, Milan and Ajax whips, in addition to making over 100 Barcelona appearances, yet constantly underwhelmed.