The result of Hajduk Split's Europa Liga second leg clash with Dinamo Bucarest could be the catalyst for late activity in the Croatian transfer market. Hajduk are currently 3-1 down from the first leg and needing a mighty performance to progress to the next round.
Hajduk board officials have suggested that should Hajduk drop out they would need to transfer Senijad Ibricic and maybe Ivan Strinic to fund themselves for the rest of the season. It is thought Hajduk only have serious offers on the table for the Bosnian and Croatian international duo. Hajduk may accept 4m Euro's for Ibricic, whilst Strinic would command a 2m Euro transfer. Although the fees offered may be lower than Hajduk hoped they may reluctantly be forced to accept.
Whilst Hajduk have written off the contracts of numerous players such as Ante Seric, Ivo Smoje, Ivan Rodic and Dario Jertec. They have not brought in any significant fees from the sales of Boris Pandza, Vjekoslav Tomic, Florin Cernat and Ante Aracic. All went on frees or for under 100,000 Euro's. The sale of Ibricic would however would solve any financial problems and debts to players.
Ibricic was a target of Rubin Kazan and Fenerbahce and either could still table an offer. Should Wolfsburg's Zjezdjan Misimovic depart this could also spark Ibricic's move to the Bundesliga. Lazio's Edy Reja is also an admirer and has money to spend. Ibricic is also thought to be interesting Blackburn who may table a bid once a takeover of the club goes through. Strinic meanwhile is a strong target of Koln who can afford 2m Euro and in the Russian Premier League.
Strinic would be replaced by Goran Jozinovic. However Ibricic's sale would leave a huge whole in Hajduk's team as their most talented player. Ibricic has long been due a step up to a stronger club. Hajduk have a largely pro Croatian policy when signing players, but there a few players left in the market who Hajduk can turn to to find a replacement for Ibricic. Hajduk could look within their current staff, but neither Anas Sharbini, Marin Tomasov, Mirko Oremus or Mario Ticinovic are to the standard of Ibricic. They are however good enough to fill Ibricic's creative role. Ibricic's loss will be in the goalscoring department.
Talented Croatian forwards in HNL1 are few and far between at present. However Zagreb's targetman Ivan Kristanovic has been a former target of the club and a new bid could be lodged. Zagreb are not currently in a position to decline as a short of finance. Kristanovic would command a fee roughly in the region of 500,000 Euro's. Hajduk would also require at least one other striker of forward minded playmaker. Osijek's Ivan Milicevic is certain to one of the stars of the season and is currently fairly priced. Sibenik may also be prepared to part with the latest Bosnian HNL1 star Mehmed Alispahic for 1m Euro's.
Abroad its likely Igor Budan will leave Palermo before Hajduk sell Ibricic so that's a no go. Zdravko Popovic and Darko Bodul are the only lower profile strikers available, but may not prove attractive for Hajduk. A loan deal with Croatian Under 19 star Filip Ozobic could prove realistic. Ozobic plays regular for Croatia's Under 19 and Under 21 side, but is only in the reserves at Spartak Moscow and would jump at the chance to sign on loan for Hajduk.
With any transfer money recieved Hajduk are likely to only look for a forward and a full back. Hajduk are over capacitated in central defence with Matej Jonjic, Mario Maloca, Jurica Buljat and Hjorve Vejic. Similarly in central midfield Jurica Vranjes, Srdjan Andric, Marin Ljubicic, Franko Andriasejvic and Mario Brkljaca is considered enough. Hajduk are however very light at full back. Ante Rezic is currently being tried out there, but Hajduk have already conceded 6 goals in just 3 games. Marijan Buljat suffered a broken leg in midweek leaving Hajduk desperately short. A centre back such as Vejic or defensive midfielder could be moved across. However Hajduk could also do battle with Dinamo for Elvis Kokalovic of Slaven Belupo.
The Ibricic money could therefore stay in HNL1 and would spark further arrivals for Osijek, Slaven Belupo and Sibenik should either Milicevic, Kokalovic or Alispahic leave. The transfer however would ensure all three teams live in financial comfort for the next two seasons. Milicevic's transfer could prove an opening for Anton Maglica or for Karlo Primorac to return. Sibenik could improve all areas of their squad and Belupo already have a powerful squad and could replace from within.
Zagreb would definitely listen to an offer for Kristanovic, but would need to be quick to sign new players as Kristanovic is their only experienced forward. However whilst Dario Zahora, Tomo Sokota, Asim Sehic and Ivan Bosnjak remain on the market Zagreb will not be panicing.