Tuesday, 17 August 2010


New coach Vahid Halilhodzic will not get very long to settle into his post at Dinamo Zagreb with an all important Europa Liga qualifier against Gyor and transfer deadline both on his agenda in the next fortnight.

Halilhodzic will need to make snap decisions on his squad as to who he wants to keep and who he wants to let go. He is expected to recieve two requests for loans this week from Istra Pula and Inter Zapresic. Zapresic want a striker, either Dodo or the currently health striken Ilija Sivonjic. Istra are looking to test Dinamo's judgement by asking for in form Mathias Chago, but could be sent out of practice Ante Tomic instead.

Halilhodzic also must decide whether to accept unknown properties targeted by Zoran Mamic (Slovakian Salata or Chile's Pinalla) or whether to look for more ambitious prospects. Dinamo are currently holding a potential bargaining tool in Miroslav Slepicka who continues to struggle for his best form at Dinamo Zagreb. Dinamo need both a striker and a defender and in the Czech Republic there are three players who could serve the club well for a long period.

Andrej Keric, 24 was the Czech leagues highest scorer in 2008/09 season scoring 16 goals for Slovan Liberec. He has already started this season on fine form with 3 goals in 4 games. Liberec are desperate for an offer as the striker is out of contract in the summer 2011. Should Dinamo offer recent Czech international Slepicka along with 1m Euro for Keric and his Croatian Under 19 colleague Renato Kelic they could make a deal which would solve two of there biggest problems.

Keric and Kelic also have potential to be sold and move to a much bigger league in future. Although Dinamo purchased Ante Rukavina, the player appears to prefer to play off a main striker. However Dinamo's other forwards Dodo and Slepicka have struggled to find the net. Slepicka has only 2 goals, whilst Dodo has not scored at all in 7 matches this season. Keric is a naturally scorer who compares in playing style to Ivica Olic and will add whole new dimensions to Dinamo's game. A front three of Pedro Morales, Ante Rukavina and Andrej Keric could take Dinamo that bit further in the Europa Liga. With Andrej Kramaric and Mario Situm covering, Dinamo would look a much better attacking proposition.

At centre back, Dinamo arguably have two aging defenders in decline. Igor Biscan and Leandro Cufre are both 32 and are unlikely to have their contract renewed in 2011. Renato Kelic has shades of Vedran Corluka. At 18 he has already broken into the Liberec team and has the captains armband at Under 19 level for Croatia. Dinamo's foriegn signing policy is currently causing fans to boycott the team and such players as Kelic and Keric may help to turn their head. For Keric, he may be miffed as to why 16 goals in Czech Republic has only gained him interest from Konjaspor. Two good seasons in Croatia however could do a lot more for him with regards attracting much bigger clubs as it did for Mario Mandzukic. Playing at Dinamo would also help him gain the attention of national team coach Slaven Bilic.

Should Liberec not bite, Dinamo alternatively could try Slepicka in a swap deal for Sparta Prague left back Manuel Pamic. Dinamo missed out on Pamic when the player went to Sparta. Although Luis Ibanez has talent in an offensive capacity, he has struggled at left back. Dinamo seem more than settled on right defense and right midfield, defensive midfield is working well and creative midfielders Sammir and Badelj are prize assets. Halilhodzic will quickly find however he needs a centre back and a striker, but agreeing to another foriegn buy will not help his popularity. In HNL1 Dinamo appear to have enough talent at Lokomotiva to tap into rather than considering purchasing from their Liga 16 counterparts. However left back Roberto Puncec could prove an asset for the future and could be worth signing from Varazdin.

Dinamo are unlikely to move for a second centre back till the winter, but Myttlldland's Kristjan Ipsa is worth monitoring as has impressed since moving to Denmark.