World of Sport

Croatian starlet wanted by United and City gets away with appalling dive

Croatian 16-year-old Alen Halilovic has become one of the hottest young properties in European football and been dubbed the "new Luka Modric" after delivering some devastating performances for Dinamo Zagreb this season.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid are all reported to be keen on the starlet, whose worth is said to be in excess of £10 million despite the fact that he has just five matches under his belt for Dinamo.

But while he boasts skills that have made him the youngest ever scorer in the Croatian league and the youngest person to take to the pitch in a Champions League match, it seems Halilovic needs to go some way to master the game's darker arts.

At least, that's what this video of his breathtakingly awful attempt to pull the wool over a ref's eyes at the weekend suggests. Halilovic came on as a sub with 15 minutes left and his team trailing 1-0 against arch rivals NK Zagreb and dived to the floor to try and win a free kick outside the box despite the defender not being within a yard of him.

Almost more amazing than the crassness of his dive was the referee's reaction: he awarded a free kick straight away and waved away all protests. But justice was done: nothing came of the chance, and bottom-of-the-table NK Zagreb recorded a superb win against their table-topping local rivals.