Sport

Jelavic transfer to Manchester City collapses: Croatian teenager won’t be deterred by work permit complications

By Paddy von Behr

Croatian youth striker Mario Jelavic’s proposed move to Manchester City has fallen through after the 19-year-old was denied a work permit.

The former Hadjuk Split forward has been training with City for the last few months and manager Roberto Mancini was keen to sign him up.

But the move was called off and he has been forced to return to Croatia, where he will sign for Slaven Belupo.

“Roberto Mancini told me that everything is sorted out, that we have an agreement and that I will stay at City,” he told Sportske Novosti.

“But then it became clear that there will be problems with the work permit.”

But despite the bad news, Jelavic hopes to follow his namesake – Everton striker Nikica – to the Premier League one day.

And the club has re-assured him that he will remain on their radar and they will come knocking if he impresses for his new club.

He said: “They say that they will keep watching me so I really hope that everything is not dead yet.

“I had a great time over there, everybody helped me so much. It was great experience and I hope that one day I will have the luck to play for such a great club.”

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