Saturday, 31 July 2010


DRAGOVOLJAC 1 LOKOMOTIVA 2 (Svaric/ Bule, Martinac)
SPLIT 4 VARAZDIN 0 (Zuzil, Bucan 2, Oblinovic)
ISTRA 0 ZAGREB 2 (Sovsic, Kristanovic)
ZADAR 2 KARLOVAC 0 (Terkes, Santini)
DINAMO 1 RIJEKA 2 (Sammir/ Rodic, Badelj O.G)
INTER 0 BELUPO 1 (Maras)

Dinamo Zagreb were disappointing at the weekend as NK Rijeka claimed a 2-1 win over the Croatian Champions. Ivan Rodic claimed his first goal for the club, with the second coming by way of a Badelj own goal. It is Rijeka second successive win, alongside Zagreb and Slaven Belupo. Zagreb beat Istra 2-0 with Ivan Kristanovic claiming his third of the season. Slaven Belupo won 1-0 away at Inter with Alen Maras netting the only goal.

Zadar and HNK Split opened their account for the season. Split demolished Varazdin 4-0 with Saed Bucan collecting a double. Zadar beat Karlovac 2-0 with strikes from their forward partnership Terkes and Santini. Sibenik and Cibalia played out a scoreless draw.

In other news Dinamo have held off the loan of Dodo and have instead sent Domagoj Antolic back to Lokomotiva. Antolic, will be a major addition having impressed on loan last season. Jurica Vranjes will definitely sign with Hajduk. Especially as Marijan Buljat is out long term with a second broken leg recieved in training and Marin Ljubicic also recieved a fracture in the defeat to Dinamo Bucarest. Vedran Celiscak has returned to Medimurje in HNL2.

Friday, 30 July 2010


English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers look set to re-sign loanee Ivan Klasnic today. The 30 year old Croatia international striker is available from French second division side Nantes, who cannot afford to pay the players. The club had saw Klasnic's sale as a means of bringing in income, however the player can walk free if Nantes do not pay on his contract over a period of a few months. Therefore player and club agreed a amicable parting.

Klasnic is still seen as a usable international player having netted 12 times in 38 games for his country. The former Werder Bremen star needed to suit up with a new club and needs to be in prime form at risk of dropping off the squad. Eduardo, Ivica Olic and Mladen Petric are already believed to be ahead of him, whilst he is also in serious competition with Mate Bilic, Nikola Kalinic, Nikica Jelavic and Mario Mandzukic. Mario Gavranovic, Srdjan Lakic and Daniel Cesarec have also put themselves into position to challenge him by switching to higher level clubs.

Klasnic's ultimatum is to keep finding the net for Bolton and to stay one step ahead of the competition. As the player has fitness issues due to a kidney transplant, it will be difficult and Igor Budan is a reminder that being in a top four league may not be enough. Bolton are trying to bring in two other of their loanees who were with the club at the end of last season. Jack Wilshere and Vladimir Weiss impressed last season and Coyle needs them in order to change Bolton's style of play. Thus far he has signed up defender Marcos Alonso and Robbie Blake, as well as wingman Martin Petrov who should prove exciting company for goalgetting Klasnic.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Following Dinamo's pursuit of a centre forward, Hajduk Split now also find themselves very short of goalscoring options with coach Stanko Poklepovic failing to trust Duje Cop or Ahmad Sharbini to face Dinamo Bucarest. Hajduk met the Romania side in the Europa Liga qualifying and were beaten comfortably 3-1.

Unlike Dinamo, Hajduk do not have any finance to work with especially having paid off the expensive contracts of the likes of Ante Seric, Dario Jertec and Ivan Rodic. Hajduk currently have enough widemen in Marin Tomasov, Mario Ticinovic, Senijad Ibricic, Anas Sharbini and Mirko Oremus, but has no striker who enjoys the trust of the coach. Deals for Ahmad and Anas Sharbini have not worked out. Anas is only just showing some form again in the Croatian league. Ahmad meanwhile spurned a deal with Racing Genk to come to the Poljud and seemed happier at HNK Rijeka who may regret parting with him in a two for the price of one deal.

Duje Cop and Ante Vukusic are the most favoured in Hajduk's strikeforce. However both are mere youngsters with little experience or goal history behind them. Cop particularly may benefit from a spell on loan. It is difficult to pin point who Hajduk can go for, but will definitely have to recruit cheaply unless they bow out of Europe and go with what they got in the Croatian league. They undoubtedly will look in the free agent market and as they have virtually no foriegn players may allow themselves a foriegn striker should it prove worthwhile.

Croats within their price range are Zdravko Popovic, who is contracted to Greek Superliga side Atromotis and Hapoel Tel Aviv's Bojan Vrucina who has impressed in HNL1 and in this level in Europe. Vrucina is currently out of favour in Israel after only 10 games. Hajduk would like a higher profile signing but Igor Budan would costs around 2m Euro's even to loan and Mario Budimir is similarly expensive and attracting AEK Athens after impressing in Ergotelis.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


Dinamo Zagreb will take a important away goal into the second leg of their third round qualifying match for the Champions League against FC Sherriff. Dinamo recorded a 1-1 draw with Moldova Champions and will have Pedro Morales, Ante Rukavina, Sime Vrsaljko, Andre Kramaric and Arjan Ademi at their disposal in time for home match. Dinamo have not gone passed the third round stage of the competition for some time, but now look hot favorites to progress.

There were a number of positives in the match. The teams defensive display most notably Matias Chago, Leonard Mesaric and Leandro Cufre could stand them in good stead for the future. Last season Dinamo appeared incapable of such defensive resilience. The major plus, however was the performance of goalscorer Sammir, who now appears able to take responsibility as the teams playmaker. The change of formation seems to have suited the talented Brazilian who has impressed Velimir Zajec since he took charge and has raised his game from last season. Chago and Adrian Callelo were both busy and have staked their claim to stay in the side despite Arjan Ademi's excellant performances in the European Under 19 Championships.
In attack Dinamo require a little more work. Miroslav Slepicka showed nice touches, but didn't produce enough efforts on goal. The return of Kramaric, Morales and the arrival of Rukavina will be important to Dinamo in the second leg. Dario Simic will hope to come into the centre of defence in Zagreb as Tomislav Barbaric was red carded. As Igor Biscan struggled in Slovenia, Zajec may give the 35 year old Croatia legend Simic has chance to show he can still play at this level. If Simic is fielded alongside former Roma, Monaco and Argentina player Leandro Cufre there will be a lot of high level experience to get Dinamo through the tie.

Only a day after Dinamo's first leg match Brazilian Dodo was sent on loan to Lokomotiva. The striker was not believed to be impressing Velimir Zajec, but will benefit from playing regularly with Dinamo's feeder club. Dinamo are believed to have sent Dodo away as Zajec prefers Andrej Kramaric and Ilija Sivonjic as cover to Ante Rukavina and Miroslav Slepicka.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


HNK Rijeka sporting director Elvis Brajkovic has said the club are still hunting for a midfield player. Rijeka appear top heavy on defensive minded midfielders with Damir Krielach and Nevan Vukman fielded against RNK Split. Brajkovic feels Split dominated possession and that Rijeka have yet to replace Ramon Fernandes.

Rijeka are likely to look in the free agent market and may find Ivan Bosnjak (pictured) to their liking as the former Racing Genk man is no longer of interest to Dinamo Zagreb. Creative duties are currently the responsibility of Hjorve Strok. Dinamo Zagreb player Ante Tomic also continues to flounder in the reserves so is available, whilst Miroslav Saric could prove useful.

NK Zagreb are also still on the look out for a striker despite Ivan Kristanovic's one man heroics against Lokomotiva. Once again the side is hunting in the free agent market leaving Karlo Primorac, Tomo Sokota and Dario Zahora as prime targets. Sibenik also were disappointed with Ivan Fustar's performance in the last two games and could hunt down a striker. They are also still negotiating with Hajduk Split defender Ante Aracic.

Hajduk, meanwhile will sign Jurica Vranjes after the player broke his contract with Werder Bremen. Vranjes, arrival allows Hajduk to transfer Mario Brkljaca to Sibir.


Dinamo Zagreb may enter the transfer market for a centre back on the back of striker Ante Rukavina's arrival from Panathanaikos. Dinamo currently have Tomislav Barbaric, Leonard Mesaric, Dario Simic, Leandro Cufre and Igor Biscan as defenders, however the latter three are over 32 years of age and out of contract at the end of the season. Leonard Mesaric was brought in as cover.

Leandro Cufre is currently seen as Dinamo's best defender. However alongside Simic his best days are behind him and is wanted in Argentina at several top flight clubs. Simic is expected to only play a bit part role, whilst Biscan was found struggling for pace against Slovenian opposition last week. If Dinamo is to pursue a half decent European campaign it is likely they may enter the market for a centre back. Thus far Gordan Bunoza has slipped through their fingers as he chose a move to Wislaw Krakow.

Dinamo however showed their financial muscle in prizing Rukavina out of Greek giants Pananthanaikos and could follow a similar hostile bid in pursuit of a defender. Croatia Under 19 captain Renato Kelic would favor such a deal having spent last season with Slovan Liberec. Kristijan Ipsa (also pictured) will also be keen for a move up having spent two seasons as a regular with Denmark's Mytlddland.

Alternatively having spent so much on Rukavina, Dinamo may look to acquire cheaply. Free agent Dino Drpic, does not seem to have resolved issues with Dinamo's Vice-Executive Zdravko Mamic to be welcomed back. Any other activity at Dinamo could be outgoing with striker Dodo and midfielder Ante Tomic considered surplus to requirements once Andrej Kramaric and Arjan Ademi return from Croatia Under 19 duty.


Glasgow Rangers appear to be set to file their second bid for Rapid Vienna striker Nikica Jelavic today. The 24 year old is believed to be available at the right price. However similarly to Red Bull's Mark Janko, Rapid have no incentive to offload the player cheaply. Jelavic is currently valued around 5m Euro's, however his valuation could increase with a second goal laden campaign in Austria. For Jelavic Scottish league Champions Rangers would also appear to be a sidewards step. Jelavic may encounter problems moving to England due to having not featured regularly enough at international level, so a deal with Blackburn Rovers could prove difficult.

Rangers may find better luck lodging a bid for Ivan Klasnic, as the 30 year old is clued up on the club having roomed with Dado Prso at Euro 2004. Meanwhile, rivals Celtic could be set to offer Spartak Moscow's Stipe Pletikosa first team football as they bid to persuade the Croatia international keeper to sign for them over Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Elsewhere Chievo are set to discuss with Palermo the transfer of striker Igor Budan, who has just had an operation on his troublesome knee.

Monday, 26 July 2010


Dinamo Zagreb's search for a new striker is over after splashing out on striker Ante Rukavina. Dinamo will pay compensation of nearly 3m Euro's to Panathanaikos with the player reportedly recieving 700,000 Euro's a year. Rukavina was keen to stay on in Greece, but it appears Dinamo tabled an offer which club and player were unable to refuse which seems slightly excessive. Rukavina is not a regular Croatia international and fullfilled only a substitute role in Athens.

Rukavina was however Velimir Zajec's first choice and will combine in a three man attack alongside Pedro Morales and Miroslav Slepicka. Sammir will continue in the playmaker role with Milan Badelj dropping deep to partner Adrian Callello in defensive midfield. Sime Vrsaljko and Luis Ibanez are expected to patrol the flanks as wing back. Leonard Mesaric has currently made his case to partner either Tomislav Barbaric or Igor Biscan in defence, though both players have struggled in early season. Ilija Sivonjic is believed to be making enough of a impression to hold a place on the bench. Dodo however will find himself out of Zajec's plans when Andrej Kramaric returns. Similarly Ante Tomic is likely to be surplus to requirements when Arjan Ademi returns from Croatia Under 19 duty.

Hajduk Split meanwhile may be forced to call off the sale of Mario Brkljaca as Hertha Berlin have shown interest in hijacking their deal for Jurica Vranjes. Hertha who are favorites for promotion from Bundesliga 2 may present a bid that is more favourable to his club Werder Bremen with whom he has one year left on his contract.

Friday, 23 July 2010


With only a month before the start of the new season, only a handful of Croatian players are yet to decide their future. The most high profile is Ivan Klasnic. Having spent much of his career with Werder Bremen, Klasnic rarely had to think about pre season transfers. However this summer will be his third move in three years.

Klasnic's first move to Nantes proved unsuccessful as the French club are now playing second division football and cannot afford to pay for Klasnic. He prepared well last July playing and scoring in the first games of Nantes season, before signing on loan with Premier League side Bolton Wanderers. That went much better with Klasnic collecting 8 goals. Klasnic's switch to Bolton has not been made permanent so far. Klasnic often keeps any deals guarded, but it is believed Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic are interested from the Premiership and Hoffenheim and Mainz want to see him in the Bundesliga. Trabzonspor have also stated their interest, whilst a deal with Red Bull Salzburg would not be out the question.

Croatia international keeper Stipe Pletikosa is also in need to find a new club after becoming surplus to requirements at Spartak Moscow. Pletikosa is expected to sign to a new club in the next four days and is choosing between Tottenham Hotspur and two unnamed clubs. Similarly Dario Knezevic is expected to decide upon a new destination in the next week. The player is not short of options with Bari, Brescia, Cesena, Roma and Olympiakos all chasing him. He also has a still has a place at Serie B Livorno whilst making his choice.

Dino Drpic also must decide his new club soon if he is to stand any chance of coming back into the Croatia squad. The 28 year had a far from noteworthy season last campaign with Karlsruhre and was ultimately released. Drpic will be looking for a top flight club, but finding a suitable option may prove far from easy. Sporting Lisbon were linked, but this may not materialise into a transfer.


NK ZAGREB 3 LOKOMOTIVA 1 (Kristanovic 2, Jurendic/ Peko)
DINAMO 4 DRAGOVOLJAC 1 (Morales, Sammir, Slepicka, Mesaric/ Kesinovic)
HAJDUK 6 ISTRA 1 (Andric, Ahmad, M Ljubicic, Anas, Ibricic, Oremus/ Sehic)
VARAZDIN 2 ZADAR 1 (Brezovec 2/ Begonja)
KARLOVAC 3 ZAPRESIC 0 (Spisic, Kovacevic, Husic)
RIJEKA 1 SPLIT 0 (Vidic O.G)
CIBALIA 3 OSIJEK 0 (Bartolovic, Parmakovic, Juric)
BELUPO 1 SIBENIK 0 (Kokalovic)

Hajduk Split made an excellant start to the new campaign with a 6-1 demolition of Istra Pula. Hajduk's entire midfield and strikeforce gone on the scoresheet with Ahmad scoring his first goal. Marin Ljubicic also got on the scoresheet to stake his claim in the side in the face of Jurica Vranjes imminent arrival. Mirko Oremus also netted and looks set for a fine season after impressing in the summer preparations. Coach Stanko Poklepovic looks set to give Ahmad a run in the side. Marin Tomasov meanwhile has drifted to the substitutes bench, though may return if Senijad Ibricic transfers before the deadline.

Dinamo on paper had an easier game against Dragovoljac and score four times. Pedro Morales kept up his good form from last season by scoring on the opening day. Sammir and Miroslav Slepicka was also on target. Leonard Mesaric who could be the find of the summer scored the fourth. Velimir Zajec was looking for Ilija Sivonjic and Dodo to get on the scoresheet, with Zdravko Mamic currently assessing Montenegro frontman Fatos Beciraj.

NK Zagreb will breathe a huge sigh of relief after starting their new campaign with a win over Lokomotiva. Ivan Kristanovic scored twice with Jurendic adding a third late on. Lokomotiva scored through Ivan Peko. Rijeka were also winnings coming through a tough match with RNK Split thanks to Velimir Vidic's own goal on his debut. Karlovac were more convincing winners as they put away Zapresic 3-0.

Varazdin also got off to a fine start following Davor Vugrinec's return to the club. Two goals by Josip Brezovec help them defeat Zadar 2-1. In Sunday evenings games Cibalia got off to a strong start by defeating highly fancied Osijek 3-0. Mladen Bartolovic showed his value by scoring on his debut. Elvis Kokalovic meanwhile was the matchwinner as Slaven Belupo beat Sibenik 1-0.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


NK Zagreb will start the new season without Davor Vugrinec and Stjepan Babic as both players signed up to new clubs this week. Star striker Vugrinec has joined Varazdin, whilst Babic made a surprise switch to Inter Zapresic.

Vugrinec and Babic, will joined Josip Stojkic, Marko Kartelo, Goran Ljubojevic, Marin Vidosevic and Marin Skender in leaving the club. Zagreb coach Ivo Susak will have to put his faith in youth and much of last season's squad which got off to a horrific start in HNL1. Zagreb will be granted permission to make new signings as their squad is extremely small. Ivan Kristanovic (pictured) will be forced to lead the burden in attack until Zagreb find a striker. Susak is desperate for experienced forwards to replace Ljubojevic and Vugrinec.

Zagreb can only purchase free agents and there pool of options is becoming less as players look to find new destinations. Dario Zahora, Tomislav Sokota, Karlo Primorac and Miroslav Saric are however still available. Zahora and Primorac would be the most sellable assets, whilst Sokota is capable of filling the role left by Vugrinec. Zagreb's problem is persuading such players to fit into the wage structure. In this case Karlo Primorac would be the most comfortable fit. Zahora and Miroslav Saric have been on trial with Debrecen and Bucaspor but it would seem they have been unsuccessful in winning a contract.

Whilst Zagreb are floudering, Istra Pula are finally getting it together with Bosnian international Emir Hadzic set to sign from Greek second division side Panetilokis. Hadzic scored just once in Greece, but was more impressive during two spells in Bosnia Herzegovina with FK Sarajevo and Celik Zenica where he scored nearly 50 goals. Istra also confirmed Asim Sehic and Marijan Markovic will be stayed, soon to be joined by Vedran Nikisic who has fallen out of favour at Osijek.


HNL1's best striker of last season Davor Vugrinec has returned to first club NK Varazdin on a free transfer. The 35 year old will end his association with NK Zagreb for whom he scored 29 goals in 55 games. In truth Vugrinec has made light work of the Croatian league during spells at Rijeka, Dinamo and Zagreb. Despite Zagreb's eagerness for Vugrinec to stay, and interest from Rijeka the former Lecce striker decided to give a boost the town of Varazdin. Vugrinec's decision is far from financially motivated as the Varazdin are finally stricken and could not afford to pay their staff last season. Furthermore club legends Zoran Ivancic, Milenko Mumlek and Andrija Balajic are unlikely to play again for Varazdin after being caught up in the match fixing scandal. Players such Roberto Puncec, Mario Sacer, Feha Dudic and Sasa Hojski have however given the team new hope during pre season and Vugrinec appears to have decided to return to give the club a lift.

Ex Varteks players Zoran Lesjak and Nikola Melnjak have found new clubs. Lesjak signs for Drava, whilst Melnjak signed with Slovakian side Trnvana. Melnjak will team up with playmaker Josip Coric who has signed from Slovan Liberec. Varteks released Ivan Jolic and former player Milan Pavlicic is also on the market after being given a free by Osijek.


Dinamo Zagreb will have to find new targets after being rejected by Panathanaikos striker Ante Rukavina. The 24 year old reitterated his commitment to the Greek club and followed up by scoring in a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg on Tuesday evening.

Dinamo are now being linked with Hiroshima's Japanese striker Sato however at 28 years old this is hardly an investment for the future and is likely to cost Dinamo a hefty transfer fee. Zdravko Mamic, however may be put off gambling on another foriegn player having seen a largely foriegn based side without Tomecak, Badelj, Vrdoljak or Mandzukic flop badly against Slovenian opposition this week.

Dinamo fans are likely to be realistic about their chances in Europe this season having seen star striker Mandzukic go. If Dinamo can obtain a team to win HNL1 whilst also developing for next season they may be more than satisfied. Dinamo are satisfied with Chago, Adrian Callelo, Etto, Sammir, Pedro Morales, Leandro Cufre, Miroslav Slepicka and Luis Ibanez, but adding another foriegn striker may be working against the countries interest. It is likely Dinamo fans would prefer a Croatian to replace Mandzukic. However strikers are currently in short supply.

After Rukavina's rejection, Dinamo could offer a chance to Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Bojan Vrucina. The deal would cost only 500,000 Euro's and it appears the Isreali club would be prepared to let him leave for such an offer. In addition Ergotelis forward Mario Budimir, who has excellant hold up play may have a lot to offer to Dinamo. Dinamo fans may be realistic about the team's chances in Europe this season having seen Mandzukic leave. However if Dinamo can produce a HNL1 title winning team they would be contented. As well as a number 9 Dinamo may also look at signing Ivan Bosnjak to bring the goals which it would appear Dodo is unlikely to provide. Dodo would appear to benefit from spending the season out on loan. A deal for Davor Vugrinec seems unlikely whilst Ilija Sivonjic is on board. The arrival of Vrucina and Bosnjak may help give time to Croatia Under 21 international Andrej Kramaric to step up into the strikers role.

As for other Croatian strikers who are available Ivan Klasnic is believed to have his pick of clubs, whilst Ajax may give more opportunities to Darko Bodul after Marko Pantelic and Dennis Rommehdahl was released. Luis Suarez is also likely to be sold leaving Bodul only one of very few forwards left in the club.

Monday, 19 July 2010


Hajduk Split are still hoping to sign former Croatia international midfielder Jurica Vranjes from Werder Bremen. Vranjes contract runs out in 2011, but Bremen are keen to offload the player who no longer has a working relationship with coach Thomas Schaff. Vranjes is expected to come straight into Hajduk's first team alongside Srdjan Andric as Marin Ljubicic has not done enough to convince Stanko Poklepovic he should start every match. Ljubicic will take the place of Mario Brkljaca on the bench, who is set to transfer across to the Russian Premier League side Sibir. Poklepovic was still thought to be keen on Brkljaca, however the player does not have a sure place in the team so would prefer to move across to Siberia.

Brkljaca's departure should be covered by Kreso Ljubicic when the player returns from injury. In addition Hajduk hope to give playing time to Franko Andriajsevic who is away on international duty with Croatia's Under 19 side.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Serbian international Aleksandar Kolarov completed his transfer to Manchester City last week, putting £17m in the kitty of S.S Lazio. Former Hajduk Split coach Edy Reja could be about to return to his former club to acquire new players. Ivan Strinic and Senijad Ibricic could both be on Reja's agenda, whilst the club may also move on Hoffenheim's Bosnia Herzegovina striker Vedad Ibisevic who is also wanted by Juventus and Napoli.

Should a bid come from Lazio, Hajduk would have the funds to acquire Jurica Vranjes from Werder Bremen. Sibenik's Mehmed Alispahic is also seen as a direct replacement for Ibricic, whilst they may once again do battle with Dinamo for Ante Rukavina from Panathanaikos. Sibenik may part with Alispahic should a sufficient bid come along, having seen Ivan Fustar and Antonio Jakolis step up the mark in preseason. This week however it looks like the only deal between Hajduk and Sibenik, will take central defender Ante Aracic to Sibenik. Aracic could prove a major gain.


Shakhtar Donetsk are on the verge of signing Croatian international striker Eduardo Da Silva from Arsenal FC for 7m Euro's. The 27 year old will be attracting by playing in Champions League and by playing alongside his Croatia international teammate Dario Srna. Srna enjoys a excellant contract at Shakhtar and needed little encouragement to stay on, but will be more than satisfied to now see his national team colleague arriving. Eduardo will also be attracted by the number of Brazilian's in the squad. Jadson, Luiz Adriano, Douglas Costa, Fernandinho and Wilian have all been excellant performers in a Shaktar shirt and will help Eduardo settle. Eduardo will replace another Brazilian Illsinhio who's contract expired.

Croatia were keen for Eduardo to settle his future, after his career at Arsenal became effected by injury problem following his horrific leg break in 2008. Niklas Bendtner, Robin Van Persie, Andrei Arshavin and Carlos Vela had all established themselves ahead of him and with Maroune Chamahk arriving, it was preferable for Eduardo to find new surroundings. Eduardo's transfer should help him hold his place in the Croatian national team where competition has become fierce. Next season Mladen Petric (HSV), Ivica Olic (Bayern), Mate Bilic (Sporting Gijon), Nikola Kalinic (Blackburn), Nikica Jelavic (Rapid Vienna) are all positioned to challenge for a place in the squad.

Mario Mandzukic (Wolfsburg), Srdjan Lakic (Kaiserslautern), Mario Gavranovic (Schalke), Daniel Cesarec (Aris Salonika) and Andrej Keric (Bursaspor) have also all step up to bigger clubs. Such moves means it is imperative for Ivan Klasnic to decide upon his next club as soon as possible. A new deal with Bolton Wanderers appears to be stalling over Klasnic's personal terms, whilst the player may also look elsewhere after coach Owen Coyle failed to trust the player in the starting line up in the second half of the season. Klasnic's ultimate destination could be Hoffenham who are recieving major interest in Vedad Ibisevic.


Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split need for a striker was on show at the weekend as centre back Igor Biscan scored the only goal in a 1-0 win Croatian Champions Dinamo. Having lost Mario Mandzukic in midweek, Dinamo gave opportunities to Ilija Sivonjic and Dodo. However it is expected Miroslav Slepicka and Andrej Kramaric will start most of the games when they return to the team.

Duje Cop on the other hand has moved ahead of Ahmad Sharbini as Hajduk's sole striker. However the 20 year old looks far from ready to fire Hajduk to a HNL1 title. Cop and Vukusic would appear to benefit more from being out on loan, but are being given an early opportunity to lead Hajduk's attack. It appears Ahmad Sharbini's Hajduk career may struggle to get off the ground. Later in the year the club may ultimately decide to part with the player.

If Hajduk have aspirations of winning the title however it would appear they require more firepower and more goals. Both Dinamo and Hajduk face a battle to attract players to the Croatian league. Palermo's Igor Budan and Ergotelis's Mario Budimir is staying put, whilst Velimir Zajec wants Ante Rukavina at Dinamo, but the strikers seems to still have a chance at Panathanaikos.

Hajduk could improve simply by signing cheaply. Atromotis's Zdravko Popovic is available for little money and HNL1 top scorer Davor Vugrinec could be signed on a free. Both players have proven track records at this level. Bojan Vrucina would also come cheaply from Hapoel Tel Aviv. Dinamo have more money to spend and could acquire something more expensive. However should they wish to give Andrej Kramaric or Slepicka a chance they could also sign cheaply to bolster the numbers.

With the season only a week away NK Zagreb and Istra Pula have thus far been frustrated by Ivan Bosnjak, Vugrinec, Tomislav Sokota, Dario Zahora and Karlo Primorac's lack of speed in coming to a decision on their future. Velimir Zajec used Dinamo's Croatian Super Cup match to give opportunities to Dario Simic and Dodo some playing time. However neither look set for the new season which should see Luis Ibanez and Pedro Morales immediately reinstalled into the starting line up. For Hajduk it would Ante Rezic is a strong contender for right back, whilst Hjorve Vejic, Marijan Buljat and Goran Jozinovic would appear to still have something to prove to Stanko Poklepovic to gain a first team place.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


Central defender Dino Drpic remains in free agent status after leaving Karlsruhre at the end of last season. Drpic who was a regular fixture in Croatia's squad for the World Cup qualification campaign had a mediocre season in Bundesliga 2 last year with the midtable German side. Now 28, Drpic may find a decent offer hard to come by despite rumours linking him with Sporting Lisbon. It would make sense for Drpic to return to Dinamo Zagreb considering the clubs need for a left sided centre back. However the players off field problems seem to have to scuppered any possible come back. A clean cut Drpic may interest Dinamo, who might have even been willing to allow in demand Leandro Cufre to return back to Argentina to make room for him. However for the moment it seems Drpic will have to find a club abroad. At present a team in Greece, Bundesliga 2, Belgium or Austria seems most realistic.

Goran Sablic, who are ironically was challenging with Hjorve Vejic and Drpic for centre back spot with Croatia only a year ago share similar circumstances with Drpic. The 30 year old has just been released by Dinamo Kiev and is struggling to suit up with a new club. Again Hajduk may have been interested in their former player. However with four centre backs already on their books, such a deal seems unlikely. Sablic may also find luck in the Turkish or Greek league


With Mario Mandzukic on the brink of a switch to Wolfsburg Dinamo Zagreb's hope of a strong European campaign have suddenly weakened. Can Dinamo find a replacement from within? Arguably it looks doubtful that Miroslav Slepicka, Ilija Sivonjic, Andrej Kramaric and especially Dodo can have a meaningful impact in front of goal. In fact Velimir Zajec has already stated that he does not see another killer goalscorer in the club. In Zajec's new 4-3-3 formation Kramaric, Slepicka and Sivonjic will feel confident of fill the deep lying forward roles. Slepicka has an excellant assists record and played in such a position at Sparta Prague, whilst Sivonjic had success playing from right midfield. Taking on the responsibility of 15-18 goal a year scorer is a different story however. Andrej Kramaric will doubtless be prepared to give the role a try. However he will need to impress quickly and is currently away on Croatian Under 19 duty. HRV Soccer looks at who Dinamo could turn to as Mario Mandzukic's successor.


Having spent his youth career being dragged from one ambitious team to another, Ajax's Darko Bodul is keen to gain first team football and make an impression. The 20 year old Austrian Croat is a player who could come good should Dinamo take a gamble on him. He is quick, skillful and has good pace. Bodul spent last season on loan at Sparta Rotterdam, but is now back in Amsterdam who are looking for a new club to transfer him to.


Ivan Bosnjak was already being linked with a return to Dinamo Zagreb, before Mario Mandzukic looked to be moving abroad. However his arrival would make sense should Dinamo wish to buy time for young Andrej Kramaric. Bosnjak was a star in his previous spell at Dinamo, but at 31 will not be the same energetic player having suffered injury at Racing Genk. Bosnjak also took four months away from the game after being released by Irakilis. Dinamo will find him of use in HNL1 however and they may need experience to help guide young Kramaric so such a player as Bosnjak could help him.


One player already known to be on the radar of Velimir Zajec is Ante Rukavina at his former club Panathanaikos. Zajec may enquire as to the availability of the player who was once at target for Dinamo, but signed with rivals Hajduk Split. Rukavina, looks however to still have a future in Greece so signing him could prove difficult and expensive. Rukavina has 7 goals in 14 games as a Croatian Under 21 player and 11 in 54 with Panathanaikos.


A player who would be within Dinamo's financial remit is Bojan Vrucina who transferred from Slaven Belupo to Hapoel Tel Aviv only in January. Vrucina had an impressive 2008/09 season at Belupo scoring 18 goals in 33 games, but was injured for much of last season. It is expected Hapoel will be patient with him, but may be tempted to sell should Dinamo bid on the player who is only likely to cost 500,000 Euro's. Vrucina is similar is playing style to Mandzukic with good dribbling skills and with an eye for goal.


Senijad Ibricic showed his worth to Hajduk Split once again after netting 2 goals in a 3-3 friendly draw with Hamburg. It still amazes how the classy 24 year old playmaker remains in the Poljud. From the friendly Mirko Oremus, Marin Ljubicic and Anas Aharbini appear to be vital for Hajduk this season. Hajduk are still light in attack, where Ibricic may again have to carry the major burden of goals. Whilst Ibricic remains there is still no place for Mario Ticinovic, whilst doubt has been raised over Marko Livaja's switch to Inter Milan.

Hajduk have now turned their attention to loaning out their young B team players. Toni Pezo has gone to Zadar and Leopold Novak has signed with Hrvastski Dragovoljac. Meanwhile, Hajduk fans have been baffled by reports in the English media that Aston Villa want to pay 5m Euro's for Anas Sharbini. The left winger had a very unnoteworthy season last campaign and there would seem to be no reason why Anas should be attracting bids from the English Premier League. Should a bid arrive Hajduk would not need to think about it, as it would allow them to retain Ibricic and would make room for Marin Tomasov to play his natural position. Anas was expecting to work harder to improve his game this season and is also likely to be surprised by the English clubs interest which could only suggest they acquire there players on the basis of watching You Tube.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Dinamo Zagreb look good to progress to the third qualifying round of the Champions League after defeating Slovenian league winners Luka Koper 5-1 in the first leg. Despite going behind early on, Mario Mandzukic scored twice before Miroslav Slepicka, Sammir and Etto put Dinamo in control. Velimir Zajec was the star of the show as his new 4-3-3 system has given Dinamo a greater freedom.

Matias Chago seems central to Zajec's new system in the defensive midfield role. Chago is expected to play the bulk of the HNL1 games, but will be joined by Adrian Callelo the further Dinamo progress in European competition. Milan Badelj will play a central midfield role in the Croatian league, with Sammir given licence to create and supply Dinamo's new three man attack which sees Pedro Morales and Miroslav Slepicka playing in their preferred positions as support forwards to Mario Mandzukic. Ilija Sivonjic and Andrej Kramaric have the chance to impress as first options from the bench along with Calello, Tomislav Barbaric and Dario Simic.

Tomislav Butina is certain to stay on in goal. It remains to be seen whether Domagoj Antolic and Ante Tomic are prepared to be patient for there chance or whether they will seek a new environment. Dodo also looks to be out of contention in the present time and could go out on loan.

Monday, 12 July 2010


Atromotis are weighing up the future of striker Zdravko Popovic after the striker impressed on loan at OFI Crete last season. Atromotis have not seen enough of Popovic due to injury and are also living beyond their means with 6 strikers on their books.

Atromotis say they will let Popovic transfer if a team is willing to buy out the forwards contract. The 25 year old would be a sensible recruit for Hajduk Split who currently depend on Senijad Ibricic staying. Popovic has a good record of 18 goals in 75 games in Greece's top flight. Hajduk are currently giving an opportunity to Ahmad Sharbini, however the former Rijeka striker could benefit from playing alongside a strike partner. Duje Cop, 19 and Ante Vukusic, 18 are the only other strikers at the club.

Meanwhile NK Zagreb have signed up Albanian forward Xhevahir Sukaj as their new striker to replace Goran Ljubojevic who left for Sweden. Sukaj had been playing in Turkey, but also had a spell in Egypt. Zagreb may hope Sukaj's arrival may persuade Davor Vugrinec to stay on. Vugrinec was the leagues top scorer last season and is considering his next destination.


Dinamo Zagreb look set to have their resolve tested after Wolfsburg sold striker Obafemi Martins to Rubin Kazan for 9m Euros. The transfer means the German club now have the funds to pursue Dinamo striker Mario Mandzukic. The 24 year old is currently essential to Velimir Zajec's plans who does not see Ilija Sivonjic, Dodo or Andrej Kramaric as his replacement and will want to recruit should he lose Mandzukic. Wolfsburg could also obtain 20m plus Euro's for Edin Dzeko in the coming weeks.

Zajec's new 4-3-3 system will mean Adrian Callelo, Luis Ibanez and Milan Badelj have vital roles in the team. Dinamo new three man attack will see Miroslav Slepicka move into a preferred creative forward role where he will compete with Sammir and Pedro Morales. Ilija Sivonjic could also prove use from the right of the three having enjoyed success coming from deep under Krunoslav Jurcic. Dodo and Andrej Kramaric are expected to play subsitute roles to Mandzukic who will lead the attack on his own. There is still some question marks however over the usefulness of Dodo.

Former Dinamo player Domagoj Abramovic meanwhile has join Greek second division side OFI Crete from Olympiakos Volos. The 28 year old helped Volos gain promotion to the top flight last season scoring 9 goals. OFI who themselves narrowly missed out on promotion have signed Abramovic to replace fellow countryman Zdravko Popovic.


Spain, followed up their success at Euro 2008 by winning the 2010 World Cup defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the final. Andres Iniesta proved the matchwinner. Spain succeeded in claiming the grand prize with a 70% fit Cesc Fabregas and 30% fit Fernando Torres so will believe they can perform even better. Holland will also feel they have a bright future. Arjen Robben could have decided the game prior to Iniesta's intervention. Holland have a team young and talented enough for two more tournaments so Wesley Sniender, Robben, Van Persie, Huntelaar and Van Der Vaart will be joined by a stronger Elia and Aleffay to make them a force in the Euro.

Uruguay and Germany enjoyed fine tournament and played out a enjoyable third place play off. Ghana, Paraguay, Chile and Mexico had respectable campaigns. Slovenia, South Africa, Slovakia, South Korea and Japan also returned home with credibility in tact. Brazil and Argentina must however feel they could have done better. A lack of strength in depth appeared to hamper Brazil who appeared to have no reason for leaving behind AC Milan's Pato.

Argentina also should have progressed further if not for some naive mistakes by coach Diego Maradona. The decision to leave out Cambiasso seemed unmerited. Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel also appeared essential for the Germany match. Very little opportunities was also afforded to Diego Milito to impress. Maradona however will argue that Ottomendi and Burdiso will learn from the experience for the future.

France, Portugal, Italy and England woefully underachieved and failed to produce any decent football of note. France a shambles with coach Raymond Domenach and the players almost at war. Similarly England failed to adjust to the management style of Fabio Capello. Portugal coach Carlos Quieroz also couldn't inspire an aging Portugal generation who will wave goodbye to Deco.

Canavaro, Gattuso and Ambrossini also looked passed their best for Italy who also seem bereft of quality players. The absence of Miccoli, Cassano and Totti also appears to harm them in attack. Serbia, Denmark and Australia also endured disappointing tournament. For Serbia Nikola Zigic, Milos Krasic and Marko Pantelic were out of form. Denmark's aging generation were also awaiting the inevitable elimination, especially with a half fit Niklas Bendtner.

Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast did not do themselves credit under the guidance of coaches with no long term commitment to the cause. Eriksson, Lagerbak and Le Guen are all likely to quit only months after taking the job. Although they far from disgrace themselves, Croatia, Egypt and Russia will feel they disappointed to miss the World Cup with Slovenia, Greece and Algeria taking their place. Turkey and Iran will also hope to make the next World Cup after missing out this campaign.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Turkish club Konjaspor have completed the signing of talented Croatian forward Andrej Keric from Slovan Liberec. Keric was due to be out of contract next summer and has decided to make his move rather than stay another year in the Czech Republic. Should Mario Mandzukic transfer Keric could be one which slipped the net for Dinamo. Keric has 27 goals from 70 matches and 11 assists from his time with Liberec. He was the league's leading scorer in the 2008/09 season. Konjaspor could have a major signing, but Croatia will hope the players continues to develop and be afforded the same chances in Turkey.

Elsewhere Hajduk Split will miss out on New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz as the player moves across to China with Shandong Luneng. Hajduk have continued to trim their squad with Toni Pezo being sold to FK Tirana. Pezo was supposed to be going on loan to Zadar, but Pezo went for a permanent transfer to the Albania club instead. It is likely only B team players will now be allowed to transfer. Wislaw Krakow are currently reported to be interested in left sided centre back Ante Aracic.

After much negotiated Stanko Mrsic was finally able to announce the long awaited return of striker Mladen Bartolovic to Cibalia. The 32 year old former Bosnia Herzgovina international is being seen as a major gain for a team which lost 6 key players, but still heralds enough talent to enjoy a decent season. Mario Juric and Marko Kartelo, formerly of Belupo and Zagreb are being linked with Sibenik.

Meanwhile it looks as though Ante Tomic and Ilija Sivonjic will not be going anywhere after Dinamo were hit by a serious injury crisis ahead of their Champions League qualification campaign. Dodo and Leandro Cufre have picked up injuries, whilst talented wideman Ivan Tomecak could be out for longer than a month due the same abdominal wall impairment which laid Biscan low for much of last season. Mario Mandzukic, Dario Simic and Pedro Morales meanwhile are not deemed to be fully match fit. Sivonjic, Slepicka, Tomic, Chago and Callelo are currently being seen as vital to the cause of seeing off Slovenian Champions Luka Koper.

Thursday, 8 July 2010


Zagreb's goalscoring problems were once again on show after their 0-0 draw with Celje. Coach Ivo Susak has just one established striker in Ivan Krstanovic who had a difficult season last term. Davor Vugrinec has not reappeared at the club after his contract expired. Zagreb will hope the 36 year old who blasted 18 goals for them last campaign will make a decision soon. Forwards Ivan Bosnjak and Dario Zahora are also taking their time deciding their next destination. Zahora will need to do more if he is to win a contract whilst on trial with Debrecen, so could yet arrives in HNL1.

Istra meanwhile only have two forwards and may not benefit from playing playmakers Dragan Zupan and Armend Alimi in support of Asim Sehic. Istra will assess the situation of Zahora. Elsewhere Lokomotiva Zagreb have lost star player Tomislav Martinac to French Ligue 2 side Strasbourg. Martinac's transfer could open the door for Lokomotiva to loan another player from Dinamo with such players as Domagoj Antolic and Mario Situm a possibility. shows that Goran Sablic, Tomo Sokota, Ivan Bosnjak, Dario Smoje, Nikola Safaric, Karlo Primorac and Srbenko Posavec are still free agents and it has not been reported that any of these players are currently under taking trials.


Having cut the squad size and wage bill ahead of the new season, Hajduk Split will debate on whether to bring any new players to the team in the next couple of weeks. Top of their target list could be a defensive midfielder and a striker. Hajduk have however made it clear they do not intend to hand out any more over inflated contracts. Hajduk will definitely bring one striker should they sell Senijad Ibricic.

However there is also contentment to offer Duje Cop, Ahmad Sharbini, Mario Brkljaca and Marin Ljubicic a chance to impress. If Hajduk do enter the transfer market they may decide on a experienced midfielder in case Ljubicic and Brkljaca fail to meet the grade. Jurica Vranjes was a prime target at the start of the year, but will want the Werder Bremen man to fall in line with their wage structure. Vranjes is currently training with Bremen's under 23 side after falling out with coach Thomas Schaff.

In attack New Zealand's Shane Smeltz was mentioned, however Hajduk expect the World Cup star to transfer elsewhere after his goal against Italy. As Hajduk are looking for players with managable wages. Atromotis forward Zdravko Popovic could be a huge hit, whilst last seasons HNL1 top scorer Davor Vugrinec could offer a lot to their domestic campaign. It appears highly likely that Hajduk will first seek to give opportunities to their current playing staff.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Hajduk Split will once again profit from a surprise sale this week after their Bosnian international central defender Boris Pandza signed for KV Mechelen for £350,000. Pandza's exit means Hajduk have now successfully cut excessive numbers within their squad, leaving them with four centre backs who they can rotate during the season. The fourth Matej Jonjic also now has a good chance to step in, alongside Hjorve Vejic, Jurica Buljat and Mario Maloca. Hajduk need only to decide the future of Ante Aracic, who is likely to be released. Senijad Ibricic could also transfer, but Hajduk will enter the transfer market for a striker should that scenario occur. Hajduk will also allow Toni Pezo to join Zadar this week.

Elsewhere Dario Zahora has gone on trial with Hungarian side Debrecen. The team that last season qualified for the Champions League will make a decision on the 28 year old in a weeks time, leaving other interested parties such as Istra Pula 1961 to sit and wait. Denis Glavina has also gone on trial at Polish club Arka Grdyia and has thus far impressed and is expected to sign a contract this week after being released by Poltava in the Ukraine. Ante Rozic is also set to sign from Sedan. Strasbourg meanwhile have signed the 23 year old striker Igor Hajduk. The player who shares his surname with the famous Croatian football club scored 20 goals for HNL3 side Gorica last season.

Monday, 5 July 2010


Dinamo Zagreb will consider whether to make moves in the transfer market in the coming weeks after completing their short tour of Austria. Whilst in camp Velimir Zajec ran the rule over his squad. It appears Adrian Callelo, Sammir and Matias Chago have done enough to impress him. However Ante Tomic, Ilija Sivonjic, Dodo and Domagoj Antolic's future appear less certain. Antolic, 19 could be farmed out on loan again as Zajec seems happy with Milan Badelj, Pedro Morales and Sammir in the creative midfield department, whilst Sivonjic and Slepicka also have high assist records. Antolic has not really taken full advantage of his opportunities since returning from a successful loan spell at Lokomotiva last January.

Dinamo would prefer Antolic to continue developing on loan rather than sitting on the bench. Inter Zapresic or Lokomotiva could therefore be boosted by the players services. Tomic, meanwhile was also thought to be heading out the exit door. However Zajec may feel he can offer the 27 year old more opportunities this season and he may be better suited to playing a support role than a youngster. Tomic is unlikely to gain a similar offer elsewhere, so could be happy to stay on a Dinamo aware that a chance may come his way.

Sivonjic or Dodo could be opened up for a loan move if Dinamo were to recruit Ivan Bosnjak. Although Dinamo respect the players work rate and speed it is thought there lack of agression and killer instinct is currently working against them.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Turkish club Trabzonspor are giving serious attention to signing Croatian international striker Ivan Klasnic. The 30 year old is available on a free transfer and Trabzonspor would appear to have the financial might to acquire him ahead of Bolton Wanderers who are stalling on the players wage demands. Klasnic scored 8 goals in the English Premiership last season and would improve the forward line of Trabzonspor who can also offer the forward Europa Liga football. Trabzonspor also have Croatia international teammates Hjorve Cale and Drago Gabric on there books.

Elsewhere Velimir Zajec looks set to review Dinamo Zagreb's squad after their latest friendly against Lech Poznan. Zajec is not believed to be enamoured with Dinamo's forward line especially Ilija Sivonjic and Dodo who are not deadly in front of goal. Dinamo still have the option to loan Sivonjic or Dodo to Zapresic before transfer deadline. Ivan Bosnjak's name still hovers around the club who would be more potent. It isn't thought Dinamo want to spend any great sum of money on a new striker unless they are forced to sell Mario Mandzukic. Velimir Zajec will also make a decision on Ante Tomic, Tomislav Butina and whether Domogoj Antolic can be useful or whether he will return to Lokomotiva on loan.


Croatian Under 21 international midfielder Mato Jajalo has signed for Germany's FC Koln from Italian Serie B side Siena. Jajalo will initially sign on loan with the option to buy. The deal is a plus for the Croatian national team who could offer opportunities to Jajalo should he impress in the Bundesliga. The transfer quashes any possible move for Jurica Vranjes who has still not settled his future with Werder Bremen.

Former Bremen star Ivan Klasnic meanwhile has been made a free agent by Nantes which would give him more options for his next destination. Bolton Wanderers are believed to be looking elsewhere for a new forward despite Klasnic scoring 8 goals on loan with them last season. Klasnic is likely to be heading to Germany where Mainz, Hoffenheim and St Pauli all have a interest in him.

Two more players taking a step up in Germany are Andre Mijatovic and Stiven Rivic. Rivic, has gain a transferred to the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern from second division Energie Cottbus. Mijatovic meanwhile stays in Bundesliga 2, but has signed for Hertha Berlin from Arminia Bielfeld. Hertha were surprisingly relegated last season, but are expected to bounce straight back.

The following weeks could see Stipe Pletikosa settle his future with Spurs expected to make a bid. Blackburn Rovers are also tracking the free scoring Nikica Jelavic. Roma could also lodge make a deal for Dario Knezevic, who is also being tracked by Brescia. Brescia also hope to persuade Palermo to part with Igor Budan, who is also wanted by Parma and Cesena.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


Dinamo Zagreb look set to keep Matias Chago after the Cameroon midfielder's excellant preseason performances. Chago was believed to be surplus to requirements after seeing little action in the last two seasons, however he performed well on loan with Istra Pula at the end of last season and has continued his form upon his return to Dinamo. It would appear the energetic Chago will take the defensive midfield role alongside Adrian Callelo or Arjan Ademi in Velimir Zajec's 4-3-3 formation.

Coach Zajec has also given opportunities to Tomislav Butina and Ante Tomic to earn a new contract. Both players are out out of contract. However Butina has been between the sticks for nearly all the friendlies. Tomic was on trial with Sturm Graz, but appeared in the friendly with Olympiakos. Zajec is also mulling over the potency of his strikeforce. Ilija Sivonjic has return from a loan spell with Zapresic and scored twice so far in friendlies. Despite Sivonjic's horror miss against Cibalia being displayed across Youtube last season the player still managed a tally of 10 goals. Zajec is therefore offering Sivonjic the chance to impress. Dodo, Kramaric and Slepicka also need to do more to convince Zajec. If Mandzukic stays its possible Dodo or Sivonjic may go back out on loan to Inter Zapresic.

One player definitely leaving is Miroslav Saric who has been released and is on trial with Turkish club Bucaspor. Ante Seric has also arrived in Turkey with Karaburspor after finally agreeing his departure from Hajduk Split. Hajduk are also considering the sale of Boris Pandza to Mechelen as they are currently over capacitated with centre backs. Pandza's sale would give Matej Jonjic access to the team. If Pandza goes Hajduk will have almost completed the reorganisation of their squad with just the relatively small contract of Ante Aracic to settle. It may also mean that Ivan Strinic and Senijad Ibricic could stay on a extra year.


Former Dinamo Zagreb striker Tomo Sokota is weighing up his future after being released by Lokeron at the end of last season. The 33 year old has an impressive history being a two time leading scorer in the Croatian league, before becoming a fans favorite at SL Benfica. An impressive 2003/04 season earned him a call to the Croatian national team where he put in match winning displays against Turkey, Denmark and most importantly against Slovenia in a Euro 2004 qualification play off. Injury hampered the player in the remainder of his time in Portugal and during his breif return to Dinamo.

Last season Sokota scored 7 times in the Belgian league with Lokeron which should translate into double the amount of goals if the player performed in HNL1. It would appear Slaven Belupo, Rijeka and Osijek are suited up for the new season regards players. However Istra Pula 1961 and more realistic NK Zagreb are desperately short on forwards. Sokota would more than fit in Ivo Susak's NK Zagreb side.

Susak would also be looking for a midfield player. Ivan Bosnjak at 31 is a red hot signing for Zagreb. However he would appear to still be on the radar of Dinamo Zagreb, who are assessing whether Mario Mandzukic will stay and whether Ilija Sivonjic, Dodo and Miroslav Slepicka are equipped to lead the team in his possible absence. Inter Zapresic await should Sivonjic or Dodo fail to live up to Velimir Zajec's expectations. Bosnjak was excellant during his previous spell at Dinamo and would bring character to Dinamo's quiet and sometimes divided dressing room.