Tuesday, 29 June 2010


HNK Rijeka loanee Radomir Dalovic looks set to sign from Rapid Bucarest after the Croatian club agreed a transfer fee for his stay. Dalovic has been in preseason training with Rijeka. Rijeka just new to agree a long term deal with the player. It is believed goalgetter Dario Zahora has been lined up to partner Dalovic. Zahora, 28 is a free agent and has a outstanding scoring record in the Slovenian league and with Dinamo Zagreb.

Zahora to Rijeka and Mladen Bartolovic to Cibalia are two signings expected to be made imminently. Such deals would not help the cause of Istra and NK Zagreb who are both hunting for forwards. However Karlo Primorac and Tomo Sokota both remain available. Ivan Bosnjak has also been linked with Rapid Bucarest. The arrival of Sokota and Bosnjak at NK Zagreb could be a major plus for the club's attack. However whether the club can afford the swoop is another matter. Istra meanwhile will lose Khallilou Traore to Odense and Robert Lisjak to Rijeka.

Dalovic and Zahora's arrival at Rijeka could potentially scupper any move for Davor Vugrinec. The NK Zagreb striker is weighing up his future with Rijeka, Zagreb and Varazdin in the frame. Ivo Susak does not expect Vugrinec to stay on, but the situation at NK Varazdin would also not appeal to Vugrinec who would have to play for a non monetary incentive. Varazdin are struggling financially and were disappointed to learn that Dario Jertec took an offer to join Zlatko Dalic at Al Farasay in Saudi Arabia. Another of there targets Nikola Safaric could also leave Croatia for the Azerbaijani league. It would seem Varazdin would need to appeal to the romantic heart of Vugrinec. However his arrival would prove a timely boost for the town.


NK Zagreb are on the hunt for a new striker after AIK Solna confirmed the signing of their striker Goran Ljubojevic. Ivo Susak has claimed the departure of Ljubo and HNL1 leading scorer Davor Vugrinec was likely for some time and are looking for a replacement of similar experience and stature. Names that fit the bill include Mladen Bartolovic, Dario Zahora, Tomo Sokota, Ivan Bosnjak and Karlo Primorac.

All five players are currently free agents. Bartolovic, was once a Zagreb player, but appears closer to a return to HNK Cibalia. Bosnjak, could also be on course for a deal with Dinamo. At 33, Sokota may be a sound signing, but due to his wage demands Zagreb may see Dario Zahora or Karlo Primorac as more sensible acquisitions with the potential for a future sell on fee. Zagreb may however not wish to gamble purely on Primorac who has been out of form.

Such players as Zahora may also be on the target list of Istra Pula who say they will announce new signings in the end of the week. Zahora has been previously with Pula who need a striker to replace Sevko Okic who signed for Karlovac. Istra fans are awaiting evidence demonstrating the ambition of their Russian owner. Many deals such as Dragan Blatnjak (Rostov), Ivo Smoje (Osijek) and Matias Chago (Dinamo) have fallen by the wayside. A quality midfield player and a striker may provide new hope. Ante Tomic, Nikola Safaric, Srbenko Posavec or Dario Jertec is realistic, whilst Primorac or Zahora especially would raise the standard of the strike force.

Friday, 25 June 2010


Dinamo Zagreb would appear to have a long wait to fend off interest in their star striker Mario Mandzukic. Last season, Zdravko Mamic quashed interest from Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg by announcing at a press conference with his main player that Mandzukic was not for sale. One year on the relationship has soured with the 25 year old failing to find his best form and disappointing in Europe.

Despite this it would appear Mandzukic and Milan Badelj are essential to Dinamo. Mamic may however consider offers aware that the tempramental forward's form can fluctuate. What Dinamo currently have in reserve is not performing. Miroslav Slepicka, Dodo, Ilija Sivonjic and Andrej Kramaric have not lived up to expectations in the last season and are currently mainly useful in support of Mandzukic. If Dinamo were to sell Mandzukic, they would need to buy. However they have already missed the boat on two of their key targets Sasa Bjelanovic (RFC Cluj) and Daniel Cesarec (Aris Salonika).

There has been rumours about a return for Ivan Bosnjak. However the player would be coming to Dinamo on the back of poor goalscoring form in the last two seasons and at 31 is purely an able replacement for Dodo or Sivonjic should Dinamo wish to loan them out. There has also been rumours of Ante Rukavina, who Velimir Zajec knows from Panathanaikos.

If Dinamo were to buy Croatian they could look in the direction of Slovan Liberec's Andrej Keric, Kortrijk's Leon Benko or Atromotis's Zdravko Popovic. Another possibility could be Darko Bodul, a precocious talent currently playing with Ajax. Also at Ajax in need of a new club is Dario Cvitanich.

Dinamo would appear to have a long wait to delay Mandukic's depature till January. The striker is already being courted by Bordeaux and Red Bull Salzburg and other bids may also come from the Bundesliga and English Premier League with Everton and Wolfsburg interested. It is hard to see Dinamo rejecting such offers in which case they'd need to go shopping. It is also not impossible that Milan Badelj may recieve an offer, although the 21 year old is in no rush to leave. Dinamo may find a replacement for Badelj in the form of Mehmad Alispahic.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Hajduk Split have successfully reduced their squad and wage bill over the summer with Ivo Smoje, Goran Rubil, Josip Skoko, Ivan Rodic, Mladen Pelaic and today Dario Jertec having left the club. The only players yet to resolve their futures are left backs Ante Seric and Ante Aracic as Hajduk are still unsure whether first choice defender Ivan Strinic will stay on. Strinic is a target of Lazio, as well as clubs from the Russian Premier League.

Hajduk have said they will sell Strinic for 4m Euro's, but do not see Croatia Under 21 player Goran Jozinovic as a immediate replacement. Instead Ante Seric or Ante Aracic could be brought back into the fold. Seric, 32 is wanted by Turkish club Karaburspor but hasn't agreed upon the termination of his contract from Hajduk. Aracic has been recovering from a serious injury picked up last summer. Aracic can play centre back or left back and could be a useful player, but Hajduk may prefer to move him off their wage bill.

Jertec, who was finally released today has played little football in the last two seasons. Jertec is still only 24 and is now free to rejoin NK Varazdin (formerly Varteks). His availability may also interest NK Zagreb or HNK Rijeka to take a gamble on him. Rijeka are still short on creative midfielders and had Jertec on loan for the 2007/08 season where he impressed.

Hajduk also transferred Florin Cernat to Karabukspor this week. Cernat, was seen as a luxury player by Hajduk due to the presence of Mirko Oremus, Marin Tomasov, Anas Sharbini and Mario Ticinovic. Cernat's departure is good news for both Ticinovic especially and Kreso Ljubicic. It also makes room for the development of youth team players. Hajduk would appear to still be keen to settle the future of Ante Seric and are still open to bids for Ibricic, Buljat and Strinic.

Elsewhere HNK Sibenik are attempting to rebuild their team in time for the beginning of the Europa Liga. Drazen Govic has returned after spells abroad in Hungary and Canada. Rijeka are also still chasing Davor Vugrinec and RNK Split want both Dragan Stojkic and Zlatko Runje.

Sunday, 20 June 2010


2009/ 10 HNL1 lead scorer Davor Vugrinec looks set to make a decision on his future imminently after his club NK Zagreb returned to first team training. The 35 year old is on the hunt of Igor Cvitanovic to become the leagues highest ever scorer, but is keen to choose the right club to achieve his aspirations. After playing with a struggling side last season, Vugrinec may try out in a different environment and HNK Rijeka currently look good to sign him.

Vugrinec was outstanding in his previous spell with Rijeka, who may pair him with Radomir Dalovic. NK Zagreb coach Ivo Susak is not optimistic he can count of Vugrinec or Goran Ljubojevic next season. Powerhouse striker Ljubojevic has been highly impressive during his trial with AIK Stockholm and it seems his purchase from Zagreb is a formality. Susak therefore wants a experienced forward to replace them. Dario Zahora or Cibalia target Mladen Bartolovic would appear to fit the bill. Tomo Sokota could also prove a major purchase, but it isn't known yet if the 33 year old can still earn a contract abroad after leaving Lokeron where he scored 7 times.

The future of Ivan Bosnjak also appears to be up in the air. Now, 31 Bosnjak was believed to be interesting Dinamo Zagreb. However the players chance of first team action would appear limited by the presence of Miroslav Slepicka, Andrej Kramaric and Dodo. The player can also play right midfield, however it seems Bosnjak would be blocked by Ivan Tomecak and Sammir.

Another club looking for a forward is Istra Pula 1961 who still hope to keep Asim Sehic, but will lose Khallilou Traore. Pula do not appear to have the ambitions previously thought. Pula may be another one of the teams in the hunt for Mladen Bartolovic. Karlo Primorac is also still looking for a new employer.

Friday, 18 June 2010


Croatia's Europa Liga representative HNK Cibalia have recieved a boost to their season after the sale of Mario Antolovic to Polish side Legia Warsaw. The talented 20 year old goalkeeper signs on a 4 year contract. Croatian clubs are dependent on player sales in order to fund themselves for each season and with Davor Bagaric, Josip Lukacevic, Josip Milardovic and Edin Husic leaving on free transfer, Cibalia were being drained on income. However the transfer of Antolovic allows them the chance to prepare for new season and sign new players. Top of their wanted list is Mladen Bartolovic, who is a former player and has enjoyed successful spells with Hajduk, Zagreb and most recently was with Iranian club Foolad. Former star Ivan Bosnjak is also available, but may be looking for a bigger challenge.

HNK Rijeka have improved their finances as they attempt to rebuild their side by selling midfielder Alen Pamic to Standard Liege. The club are chasing the signing of Radomir Dalovic, Ramon Fernandes and Davor Vugrinec, but were short on funds. Pamic's sale however allows them to pursue their targets. Rijeka have immediately replaced Pamic with Karlovac's Nevan Vukman.

Monday, 14 June 2010


NK Zagreb forward Goran Ljubojevic is in negotiations with Swedish Champions AIK Stockholm after impressing whilst on trial with the club. The 27 year old who had productive spells for Racing Genk, Dinamo Zagreb and Osijek will be missed in the Croatian league where he has brought some punch to a struggling NK Zagreb attack. It was hoped Ljubojevic would start the new HNL1 season in Zagreb alongside Ivan Kristanovic and Davor Vugrinec or with Osijek who were interested in re-signing him. However the attraction of European football and a stronger league looks set to take Ljubojevic to Sweden. AIK have also offered a trial to Dinamo Zagreb's out of contract midfielder Ante Tomic.

With Ljubojevic possibly on his way and Rijeka target Davor Vugrinec still considering his future having fired 18 goals in HNL1 last season, Zagreb will definitely need a new forward for next season. With consideration to how Vugrinec and Ljubojevic beneffitted in Zagreb, the team could prove attractive for Bosnian Mladen Bartolovic, Tomo Sokota, Karlo Primorac and Dario Zahora who are all available on free transfers.

Slaven Belupo look well set for a good season after signing up Cibalia defender Josip Milardovic on a free transfer. Milardovic was impressive with Europa Liga qualifiers and will team up with Davor Bagaric who also joined from Cibalia. Cibalia themselves have now lost 5 key players from last seasons team on free transfers and are still hoping to negotiate the sale of Mario Antolovic which will bring some much needed funds into the club. Cibalia would still like to bring Mladen Bartolovic to the club, however after a decent season with Foolad, the 32 year old may also be a target for NK Zagreb, Rijeka, Sibenik and Istra. The battle is also still on for Bojan Golubovic who is being hunted by Osijek, RNK Split and Sibenik.

Meanwhile Matias Chago has revived his chances of staying with Dinamo Zagreb after scoring in a 1-0 win over Luka Koper. Elsewhere Zadar have stated their desire to sign Hajduk Split midfielder Toni Pezo and Dario Bodrusic who was released by Istra.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


Hajduk Split search for a striker appears to have taken them in the direction of the World Cup where they are keeping a close eye on New Zealand's Gold Cost forward Shane Smeltz. The club may also release Ante Seric, Dario Jertec and Ivo Smoje in the coming weeks who are all set to sign up to new clubs. Seric is bound for Turkey, whilst Osijek want Smoje and Varteks want Jertec.

Varteks may also be offered hope for the new season by news that former players Sbrenko Posavec and Nikola Safaric are available on free transfers after being released by Slaven Belupo. Varteks current squad is short of quality, but returning Posavec, Safaric and Jertec will certainly improve the teams chance of staying up, whilst a outlandish swoop for Varazdin favorite Davor Vugrinec is still no impossible. The club thus far signed free scoring Bosnian Fehar Dudic and hope to add more players in the coming weeks.

Bojan Golubovic is also in huge demand after his release from trouble HNL2 side Medimurje. The Serbian striker impressed last season and is wanted by Sibenik, RNK Split and Osijek. Osijek have prioritised a experienced forward and may move for Goran Ljubojevic from NK Zagreb or Karlo Primorac who was released by Dinamo Zagreb. It will be interesting who will tie up Primorac. The player could also interest Istra Pula who are hunting for a partner for Asim Sehic.

Inter Zapresic meantime need an entirely new forward line and may check on the availability of Ilija Sivonjic as well as midfielder Ante Tomic from Dinamo. The club may also check on Dario Zahora, but could face competition from clubs in Slovenia where he is highly regarded from his time in Interblock and Domzale.

Lokomotiva again look set to have a strong squad for the new season after adding Dinamo's Frano Millar and Mislav Komorski. They have also re-recruited Dalibor Pandza, whilst Josip Pivaric and Mates Males could also return.

Thursday, 10 June 2010


Croatian international Mladen Bartulovic has joined Ukrainian side Arsenal Kiev from Dnipro. The 23 year old has signed for the season after impressing last season at Krivbass. Bartulovic could still be a future option for the Croatian national side once he gets on the right club. The player has been hampered by his usage at Dnipro, but netted 9 goals from left back with struggling Krivbass and already has a lot of experience at a young age.

Elsewhere in Ukraine Denis Glavina has been released by Volska Poltava after his contract expired. It is hard to imagine how Glavina's season last year could have got any worse. The player was signed on loan by Dinamo Zagreb, but despite his attacking flair was used at left back where he struggled mainly in the European matches. Glavina was sent back to Ukraine in January, but failed to reestablish him back in Poltava. Glavina could prove a quality signing in the Croatian league for Rijeka, Istra or Slaven Belupo.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


HNK Rijeka appear to once again be under a cloud after struggling to retain their best players for the upcoming season. Ramon Fernandes appears unlikely to sign up after his parent club refuse to release the player for free. However the club have also lost Vedran Turkalj and Vladimir Lazarevski. Radomir Dalovic however could be returning to the Kantrida, whilst Damir Kreilach and Hjorve Strok have signed new contracts.

The clubs so far signed Ivan Rodic from Hajduk, Karlovac's Nevan Vukman and Kristjan Caval from Slaven Belupo. Rijeka may also assess the situation of Davor Vugrinec from NK Zagreb and Hajduk's out of favour Ahmad Sharbini. However the club are not currently willing to pay out of transfer fees so will instead be searching in the free agent market. Tomislav Sokota, Dario Smoje, Dario Jertec, Ante Tomic, Dario Zahora and Ivan Bosnjak have free papers, but will need convincing their is a ambitious project at Rijeka for next season.

Meanwhile Sibenik are keen to acquire Genclerbirgli defender Ante Kulusic on loan as well as Medimurje hotshot Bojan Golubovic, who is also wanted by HNK Split and Osijek. Cibalia are chasing the signature of former player Mladen Bartolovic as they attempt to fill the void left by the departure of four of their star players.

Recently retired Dinamo Zagreb defender Robert Kovac looks set to join Hrvatski Dragovoljac as Sporting Director. Dragovoljac have begun their search for new players by targeting Dinamo Zagreb midfield Matias Chago. Elsewhere Slaven Belupo have signed Tomislav Busic on a two year contract. Busic who is still only 24 arrives on a free transfer from Maccabi Petach Tikvah. Belupo recently appointed Mile Petkovic as their new coach and have offered new contracts to Nikola Safaric and Srebenko Posavec.