Monday, 25 April 2011


NIKO KRANJCAR Aged 26, Kranjcar is at a pivotal point in his career for club and country. The highly skillful playmaker has experienced moderate success during his time with Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split, before impressing at Portsmouth and lately at Tottenham Hotspur. However to reach the level of a top player, Kranjcar needs a place in the first team at a strong club and is looking at his options. Only a player of the year performance by Gareth Bale has prevented Kranjcar from figuring much for Spurs this season. However Kranjcar is likely to attract interest from Aston Villa, Liverpool and others in England, plus Werder Bremen in Germany and also has interest in Italy so a move could be highly possible this summer.

MATE BILIC Although Mate Bilic has been part of the success story of Sporting Gijon in the last 3 years, this season he has been out of the picture. With Gijon yet again likely to retain their top flight status their is little room for Bilic who at 31 needs to move on. Although moves to Hajduk Split and RNK Split have been mooted, it is possible Bilic may sacrifice international football and return to playing in the Segunda Liga where he experienced success with Almeira, Gijon amongst others. Bilic is still contracted and a foriegn club is unlikely to pay compensation with the Croatia forward valued at 1m Euro's so any move is likely to be a loan.

DANIEL PRANJIC Despite being consistently rumoured to be on the exit door of Bayern Munich, the German champions have never been so revolutionary as to cut the squad so drastically. Pranjic is still a useful squad player for Bayern and new coach Jupp Heynckes may be tempted to keep the 29 year old Croatian international, whilst Arjan Robben and Frank Ribery have patchy fitness records. Pranjic has far from flattering interest from Feyenord, but must believe he can recieve a better offer.

MILAN BADELJ Whilst Sammir, Pedro Morales and Ante Rukavina endured quiet second halfs to the Croatian league campaign, Milan Badelj emerged to guide Dinamo to yet another league title victory. Despite a slow start to the season and a far from impressive beginning to his international career with Croatia, there is enough talent in the 22 year old midfielder to be worked upon. Such as in the case of ex Osijek defender Domagoj Vida, Badelj may well be recruited with Bayer Leverkusen a possible option or French club Olympic Lyon who are more than satisfied with how Dejan Lovren progressed after arriving from the Croatian capital.

ANTE VUKUSIC Despite a strong season in Croatia, Vukusic is far from ready for a big club and needs to develop. However the 19 year old needs to consider if staying in Split will help his development whilst the team continues to be under pressure from their fans in the shadow of being runners up to rivals Dinamo Zagreb. Vukusic may be best advised unloading that responsibility to a experienced player like Mate Bilic or Ivan Krstanovic and considering a switch to a Russian, German or Ukrainan club. Vukusic's main asset is his pace and getting into good positions to score. He is still raw talent, but a move to the right club could see him become a highly improved player.

IVAN TOMECAK Whilst Dinamo may look to hold onto Ivan Tomecak, for the player himself he may experience a step to the next level if he gained the right transfer. Tomecak is a more than handy right sided midfielder who is ready for the step up to the Russian league or in the Bundesliga. The Croatia Under 21 player has seen his impact this season reduced by injury, but has come back in time to help Dinamo over the finish line. For Croatia Tomecak is already as good as effective Turkish league based player Drago Gabric and long term could compete with Domagoj Vida and Sime Vrsaljko as reputy to Dario Srna.

IVAN KLASNIC Although Klasnic still has a year left on his Bolton contract, the 31 year old will consider if playing substitute satisfies his expectations. In the past Klasnic was targetted by numerous Bundesliga clubs, but after the improvement in the fortunes of Hanover, Numerburg, Kaiserslautern, Hoffenheim and Mainz, Klasnic may well become a target for a return to Germany at a club willing to give him more first team action. Johan Elmander is yet to acquire a new contract, but manager Owen Coyle is looking for a new number 9 with Daniel Sturridge and Carlos Vela both on his target list.

IVAN KRSTANOVIC After a highly impressive season in HNL1 with NK Zagreb, Bosnian forward Ivan Krstanovic will be hot property in the summer. Hajduk Split had previously balked at the idea of buying the player whilst Ahmad Sharbini was still on the books. However Ahmad is frustrated at how his Hajduk career has gone and Krstanovic would seem a more than worthwhile replacement. Krstanovic is a tall physical forward who could link up well with a more nimble number 9 like Ante Vukusic or Duje Cop. Hajduk also may well be in the hunt for Ivan Santini, although Ivan Lendric may be afforded a chance in the team when he returns from his loan.