Sunday, 12 August 2012


After qualifying for the third qualifying stage of the Champions League Dinamo Zagreb have decided to retain the services of star striker Fatos Bequiraj, who was a target of Hoffenheim. The Montenegrin International showed his worth in the sides 4-0 victory over Sherrif of Moldova. The powerful frontman at present appears invaluable to Dinamo's cause, with Ante Rukavina and Duje Cop also making positive starts to the season.

Dinamo have however parted with playmaker Milan Badelj who will sign for Hamburg to replace David Jarolim. Badelj has served Dinamo excellantly, but does not wish to renew his contract in 2013, leaving Dinamo in need to cash in on their prize asset. Dinamo also have adequate cover in central midfield with Jerko Leko, Nikola Pokrivac, Arjan Ademi, Adrian Callelo and Matias Chago all on the books. Ademi thus far has been unsettled at Dinamo and Badelj's departure may help the former Sibenik man to gain more playing time. Dinamo have also taken in form Marcelo Brozovic back from his loan spell at Lokomotiva.

Had Bequiraj transferred Dinamo were looking for former Croatia international striker Ivan Klasnic to add experience to their front line. However such a deal no longer seems on the card, with Klasnic expected to sign for Turkey's Gaziantespor. Klasnic had a fairly successful time with Bolton Wanderers, but was in need of change of scene. With first team football far from certain with Deportivo La Coruna and competition in HNL1 limited, Klasnic appears to have chosen the more competitive Turkish Superliga for his new destination. Rijeka have made a staggered start to the new season with many new players taking time to gel. Rijeka have responded by adding a high calibre forward to their strikeforce with Daniel Cesarec coming in from Maccabi Haifa. The 29 year old has impressed in Greek football, but is in need of a new challenge and should support Leon Benko to add more goals to Rijeka's game.

Whilst RNK Split, Osijek and Slaven Belupo have also started the season well, Cibalia, Inter Zapresic and Zagreb have struggled. Cibalia have been linked with Josip Lukacevic and Ivan Bosnjak, having failed to persuade Dino Kresinger to return for another season. Zapresic are also in need to sharpen up their forward line with a experienced striker. Former player Ilija Sivonjic is still available, as is Karlo Primorac. Slaven Belupo strengthened their title challenge with the recruitment of defender Mario Baric, who enjoyed two strong seasons in Belgian football with Genk. RNK Split meanshile signed Denis Glavina and Ivan Radeljic.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Dinamo Zagreb had been enjoying their summer largely unaffected ready to start the season with no great upheaval to their squad or coaching staff. However, the Croatian Champions finally have a problem to contend with, with their Montenegrin international striker and top scorer Fatos Beciraj linked with a reported four million Euro transfer to Hoffenheim. It may prove a deal Dinamo are willing to take as it is a profit on the player they bought for just under a million from Buducnost Podgorica only two years ago. However Dinamo still harbour ambitions of Champions League football and Beciraj is need to help them reach the final qualifying rounds.

Beciraj himself is probably ready for the step up and for the club their is currently little point in elevating the career of a forward who is never going to represent Croatia and will in all likelyness be a key figure for Kosovo. Selling Beciraj also effects the team less than losing Milan Badelj, Sammir, Luis Ibanez or Sime Vrsaljko. However Dinamo do not now have enough in attack to launch a campaign in Europe despite positive results against Spartak Moscow and Dinamo Kiev in friendlies. Striker Duje Cop is seen as a impact substitute, as is the erratic Ante Rukavina. Andrej Kramaric and Mario Situm meanwhile have been sent to learn their way for a full season with NK Lokomotiva. Ivan Krstanovic is mainly for knocking off HNL1 opposition after a fairly decent first year with the club. Dinamo will be looking for a player with European experience.

Selling Beciraj may lead to Dinamo scrambling for free agents the most enticing of which is Ivan Klasnic. His current suitors are unknown and his attitude is not known after a time of highs and lows in English football with Bolton Wanderers. Guarenteed first team football may however interest him.

The options for striking reinforcements are becoming few and far between and this is something that could be of concern not only to Dinamo but Hajduk Split. Hajduk must sell Ante Vukusic in order to pay Sibenik who are owed money. Whilst Vukusic may attract a bid and they have tied up a deal with Osijek for Anton Maglica, that is currently only being seen as to deputise for losing Ivan Lendric to Zulte Varegem. When Hajduk begin their new season, fans may be justifiable concerned as on paper Rijeka, Split and Slaven Belupo currently look stronger. Losing Drago Gabric, Mario Ticinovic and Srdjan Andric has also significantly weakened the midfield. RNK Split benefitted from Hajduk's woes by snatching Istra 1961's Henri Belle, who in turn replace him with Hajduk's most experienced forward Ahmad Sharbini. Alongside Sandi Krizman that gives them a strong front line.

Hajduk's shining light is that Cibalia and Osijek look to be considerable weakened this season due to financial problems. Osijek wished to hold onto Goran Ljubojevic and Marko Babic for a second season, but are forced to go again with young players. They still have Vedran Jugovic, Tomislav Sorsa and Ivan Milicevic on board. Osijek need the Intertoto Cup for the club to promote their stars in order to attract a transfer.

HNK Rijeka are looking more than well set up for the new season with Drago Gabric, Dario Knezevic and Jurica Vranjes fully integrated into the new look team. A goalscoring forward to partner Benko has however thus far evaded them. Goran Mujanovic can play a back up role, however Rijeka may search the free agent market for a proven goalscoring forward. Zdravko Popovic and Daniel Cesarec have both had a relatively successful time in Greece and may fit the bell and been released by Leviadkos and Maccabi Haifa respectively.

Slaven Belupo are also weighing up whether the recruit a forward having allowed Bojan Vrucina to sign with Hungary Kaposvari. At 37 Davor Vugrinec is in his twilight years and Martin Saban is still unproven in HNL1. A lot of pressure is on Tomislav Busic this season, whilst Mateas Delic has started well after returning from Gangwon of South Korea. Belupo could possibly take a chance on former Varazdin striker Matija Smrekar who is looking for a new club after failing to find himself at Sedan and Charleroi. A two year deal could suit both parties with Belupo ultimately needing a long term solution to Vugrinec.

Sunday, 1 July 2012


With Davor Suker to be the new HNS President, Igor Stimac to become Croatia's new coach and HNL1 reducing its numbers from 16 to 12 its all change with 2012/13 season. Off the back of a decent showing in Euro 2012 there is some air of optimism, met with the usual sceptisism and mistrust. In the domestic league it appears there is three contenders for the title this year, with reinvigorated Rijeka expected to chase for a top two finish. Whilst Dinamo still look likely to take the title again, Hajduk are the team most under threat from a club that could have easily been relegated last season. However new investment in new signings such as Josip Brezovec, Leon Benko, Dario Knezevic, Mate Neretljak, Drago Gabric and Jurica Vranjes are expected to improve the side considerably. Benko for one is proving scorer in HNL1 and Brezovec has been one of the best midfielders in the league for the last two seasons. If Rijeka can find the real Drago Gabric who impressed for Croatia and in Turkey they are also going to have a player of a real substances for this level. Knezevic and Vranjes have also been playing there football at a much higher level. The club it is felt are still short of another striker. Sasa Bjelanovic was the main target however he has options to stay in Italy with current club Verona or another Serie B side and is also interesting Pananios. Giving 33 year old Ivan Bosnjak another try out is option or more favourable signing Josip Tadic who failed to build on his good season at Arminia Bielfeld when he was signed by Lechia Grdansk.

Hajduk's unloved Ahmad Sharbini is also on their list, however Hajduk may trade him to Istra 1961 in order to sign up Cameroonian forward Henri Belle rather than trade him to a rival. Hajduk are already set to lose Ante Vukusic to a unnamed club in the next weeks and quality replacements are hard to find. Whilst Anton Maglica signed last week from Osijek is a talent, he has only 6 goals to his name last season and is more a replacement for losing Ivan Lendric to Zulte Varegem. Mario Ticinovic has also left cheaply to Denmark with Hajduk seeing the best of him and Marin Tomasov left for 1860 Munich without Hajduk receiving any compensation. Srdjan Andric and Drago Gabric were bizarrely released. Hajduk's hopes depend hugely on Anas Sharbini with so many key players gone and they still have a asset in Mario Maloca. The rest of the side still needs peicing together mainly from young players with Dinko Trebotic to receive another try as playmaker. Should Hajduk get the funds they may look at Osijek midfielder Tomislav Sorsa, but need a experienced striker. Those are few and far between and at the minute they do not even have one of the standard of Rijeka's Benko. One time target Mate Bilic now has all the incentive to stay at Sporting Gijon and be part of their push for promotion in Spain. Ergotelis's Mario Budimir must surely be of interested however with over 20 goals and 15 assists to his name during his three year stint in Greek football. He is now a free agent and seems a obvious target for Hajduk in their current financial position.

Dinamo watch over all this with little problems. None of their key players have left with Ivan Keleva, Tonel, Simunic, Ibanez, Beciraj, Krstanovic, Rukavina, Sammir, Leko, Pokrivac, Vrsaljko, Kovacic and most importantly Badelj all still present and raring to go in a fearsome squad. The player to keep an eye on this year is Josip Pivaric who after spending years impressing at Lokomotiva finally broke into Dinamo's team at left back. The challenge now is to stay there and potentially becomes Croatia's new number 3. If not it seems only a matter of time before Dinamo start thinking Hjorve Cale.

Although the target is Champions League football Dinamo have not seemed much interested in big name signings. Last season they were more than satisfied with Beciraj and Krstanovic and have barely seen the best of Rukavina yet. Jakub Sylvestr was justifiable sent away on loan and Duje Cop was brought in to replace him. But that remains one of few changes at the Maksimir. Dinamo's only real problem is what to do with the excess. Fortunately they are only youngsters so the likes of Andrej Kramaric, Matteo Poljak, Ivan Peko and Mario Situm are certain to go back to Lokomotiva for more first team experience. The only other deal Dinamo could do would be to sell Mathias Chago to Istra 1961. However even he remains useful. Arjan Ademi is likely to stay on and can cover midfield and centre back as Dinamo have now released aging captain Igor Biscan who could retire. Many observers feel however that winning HNL1 again and making one big sale would suit Dinamo's heirachy this season. Expect big things from Domagoj Vida, Sime Vrsaljko, Milan Badelj, Fatos Beciraj, Luis Ibanez and Matteo Kovacic this season. As a side Dinamo having player together consistently Dinamo are expected to function better this campaign.

Slaven Belupo and RNK Split are currently rated as the 4th and 5th best teams in the league. Belupo have however lost not only Leon Benko and Josip Brezovec, but also Goran Mujanovic and Stjepan Poljak. Mateas Delic however is a key signing and in Tomislav Busic, Bojan Vrucina, Martin Saban and Davor Vugrinec they should have enough up front. Glavina is key in central midfield after a good first season. Although Ante Batarelo has arrived they do need more creativity to support him. Brezovec was a excellant recruit last year and the club are looking for something similarly inspirational with him now gone. Roy Ferencina would love to get Domogoj Antolic who he coached at Lokomotiva, but Dinamo are unlikely to let him go just yet. Matteo Poljak may be more realistic.

RNK Split whilst have lost Duje Cop, did hold onto Ante Vitaic and Ivica Krizanac. Meanwhile Ivica Baraban, Romano Oblinovic, Aljosa Vojinovic and Golubor is more than enough of a strikeforce to soften Duje Cop's departure. With Josip Seradusic back from injury Split could be in for a strong season. Split are also sneakingly taking away the strength of rival Cibalia with Tomislav Radotic the latest arrival. Gradual progress remains their prime objective.

Cibalia and Osijek's when once top half was the plan will first think of avoiding relegation. Both lost their key striker. Cibalia losing Dino Kresinger and Osijek losing Anton Maglica. Respectively therefore Mladen Bartolovic and Ivan Milicevic are more important this season. Osijek may also go back again to Goran Ljubojevic who was freed from a unsuccessful stint at Targu Mures which would ease Maglica's loss. Vedran Jugovic is however also hunting for a new club in Ukraine and Marko Babic has not renewed his contract.

The team that nobody is yet sure how will do is NK Zagreb. There has been few changes there as yet, but also no stand out players that see them as potential top 5 candidates. If the team makes the top half it must be seen as a success. As well as Rijeka local rivals Istra 1961 are also one to be watch out for with ambitious coach Igor Pamic, Russian ownership in place and a ground to be proud of things are finally moving forward for the club who could have gone the wrong way. Tomislav Hajovic, Sandi Krizman, Henri Belle and Tomislav Barbaric were examples of Pamic's eye for a good player however and relegation disappeared last year. Kresimir Prgomet looks to be equally a shrewd recruit this time out. Secretly may in Istra feel Henri Belle for Ahmad Sharbini could be the deal that boosts their season. Although Belle is promising Ahmad has scored heavily throughout his career in Croatian football. Hajduk want to offload him however and don't want him to go to Rijeka and Istra could well benefit. The club have sold Karlo Primorac to Severin in Romania's Liga 2 but that's not being seen as much loss.

Zadar and Inter Zapresic start off as the most likely candidates for relegation, but only due to their size of clubs. Both benefit from affiliation with Hajduk and Dinamo Zagreb respectively. Zadar have Ivan Santini back at the club and cashed in on a somewhat surprising returnee Marin Tomasov. Santini should he stay could fire Zadar into midtable once again. If he goes however Zadar must get active for a replacement. They do have Zelimir Terkes back, but Hajduk are more inclined to hold onto their young players this time. Ivan Bosnjak is the sort of gamble they may take, but may also interest Rijeka and Cibalia.

Inter Zapresic narrowly avoided relegation and need to take action. Signing Lokomotiva defender Matej Bagaric was intelligent, but goalscoring is a issue with Arber Abilajaj out of contract. Signing up Ilija Sivonjic could have real advantages. Although Sivonjic has had problems with injury and illness he has a fairly decent scoring record and could have be profitable if he finds his best form. Neither Rijeka or Lokomotiva saw that from him, but Zapresic are more suited.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Hajduk Split look set for another gruelling summer, after rarely challenging in the title race for the Croatian Championship. Dinamo Zagreb have ran away with the league yet again, leaving Hajduk under threat from a much improved Slaven Belupo for the runners up slot. Besides losing their coach Krasimir Balakov to the lure of the Bundesliga, Hajduk look likely to transfer all their top players who are well over due. Defender Mario Maloca needs to leave in order that he can advance, similarly does Ante Vukusic who is wanted in Ukraine, whilst Anas Sharbini is a target of VdE Hanover and has also been in HNL1 far too long.

Hajduk will still however have Mato Neretljak, Drago Gabric, Ivan Lendric and Srdjan Andric as a basis for new their side. Frustratingly Marijan Buljat, Hjorve Vejic, Josip Barisic, Kreso Ljubicic, Goran Jozinovic, Ivan Vukovic and Ahmad Sharbini make up a long list of players they no longer want, but can hardly afford to pay off. Jozinovic and Ahmad will find new clubs fairly easily in Croatia. Both are wanted by Istra 1961 who managed to keep their top flight status. Jozinovic is also a target of Zadar, who in Ivan Santini and Marin Tomasov have two players from which they can make money in order to re-recruit. Barisic meanwhile was a cheap and unneccessary signing from Sikori Briceg and is likely to command small wages for any new suitor.

Hajduk have had particular trouble paying off their former captain Hjorve Vejic, who is really ready to retire and normally would be in line for a coaching position. Arguably using Vejic as a squad player and not wasting money on Portuguese defender Ruben Lima and Japanese international Inoha would have made financial sense for Hajduk who after all departed European competition in the very first stage. A similar scenario has effected Ahmad Sharbini who many commentators say was not a player for Hajduk Split and should have been left alone with HNK Rijeka where he was a folk hero. Their are a number of players who fit perfectly in the Croatian league, but are unsuited to life abroad or in the big two. Ahmad is one of these such players alongside Zadar's Zelimir Terkes, Osijek's Goran Ljubojevic, Inter Zapresic's Mario Grgurovic and Istra's Asim Sehic. However once Hajduk signed Ahmad in such a league it would make sense to use the player in hope of making a sale. Hajduk once again poorly mismanaged by adding another under performing striker Ivan Vukovic to their squad, who they will also struggle to do anything with.

For this league Hajduk really should have looked at safe signings, who are high callabre at this level. Ivan Leko has been outstanding in Belgium and encouraging him back for one last forey would aid the teams midfield. In attack striker Mate Bilic is capable of firing over 20 goals in this level and at one time was more than happy to come. Sasa Bjelanovic is also a trusted performer with promotion seeking Italian Serie B clubs and would be potent in the Croatian league. Hajduk also missed the boat with obvious domestic players Mehmad Alispahic and Ivan Krstanovic when they were both available. Krstanovic especially has had a very good first season with Hajduk. Hajduk have also not really helped their young players with Franko Andriasejvic, Dinko Trebotic, Mario Ticinovic all finding themselves farmed out on line.

Hajduk however arent the only side to find themselves having made mistakes. Rijeka have had hard fixtures, but when they signed Ivan Bosnjak and Dino Drpic they didn't envisage relegation could be on the cards. Drpic is fine in centre back, but Bosnjak may be short on fitness for the forward line. Valentin Stepcic and Armando Mance are useful squad players, but have not been capable of giving Rijeka the much needed firepower. Ilija Sivonjic has also been injured for three quarters of the season. If Rijeka stay up they would be advised to re-sign Ahmad Sharbini and hope Bosnjak's conditioning improves for next season. Their Slovenian recruits Damir Cehic and Uros Pablirk appear to be mistakes and may return their former clubs at the end of the season. The club do have an asset on which they can rebuild. Damir Kreilach has been outstanding in midfield and may attract a offer over a 1 million Euro's. Rijeka wish Jurica Vranjes to replace him. The midfield and defence have been solid and two forwards seems where Hajduk need to find form. January target Bojan Golubovic would have been their answer, but transfered to Peatra Neamt in Romania and has scored 5 times, with 2 assists in just 9 matches. Lecha Gdansk banished forward Josip Tadic could provide a worthy gamble.

Osijek's season has also tailed off after such a fine start. Strikers Goran Ljubojevic and Josip Barisic both were sold in January leaving the team without their experience. Anton Maglica and Ivan Milicevic are promising, Tomislav Sorsa, Vedran Jugovic and Dino Gavric all performed well this season. However the team may well go back in for Ljubojevic to give them a cutting edge as he looks set to leave Targu Meres in the summer. Osijek had spoke of re-signing big reputation players such as Vranjes, Tadic and Josip Mikulic but don't have the financial clout to make that happen. More likely bringing back Jurica Pranjic, Josip Knezevic and Valenin Babic could prove worthwhile.

Inter Zapresic's sacking of coach Ilija Loncarevic and replacing him with Borimir Perkovic may suggest a change of tact. Loncarevic had held governance over team affairs for a long while and often his closeness to Dinamo Zagreb had helped the team become financially strong benefitting from the sales of Dodo, Antun Palic and Ilija Sivonjic all in recent years. At the same time Zapresic can take credit for aiding the careers of Dejan Lovren, Eduardo, Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka. In recent times however Dinamo have not needed Zapresic so much and have turned to Lokomotiva Zagreb to nurture their young prospects. Zapresic do still have a closeness, despite appearing to go it alone when doing deals for Matej Delac and Aleksandr Trajkovski. If anyone it would appear Zapresic need to sign up experienced players. Zapresic may have the answer for reviving Ilija Sivonjic, who has been trouble by health and injury problems. Dario Zahora could also prosper down here if Zapresic sell Arber Abilaljaj.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


After three fairly successful seasons at Bolton Wanderers, Ivan Klasnic is likely to leave the Lancashire club in the summer. However Owen Coyle's team in the bottom three of the English Premiership, it appears time for Klasnic to leave his mark on the club if the team is to avoid relegation. Klasnic is the teams top goalscorer with 9 goals. Kevin Davies and David Ngog however have struggled severely and Tuncay has been afforded little opportunity.

Klasnic is unlikely to start all of the remaining fixtures. But it is hoped he will make a telling contribution as in his crucial winner against QPR when the time is needed. Klasnic, also still has a unexpected chance to make Croatia's Euro 2012 squad with Eduardo and Niko Kranjcar struggling with injury. Nikola Kalinic and Mladen Petric appear to have fallen out of favor with Slaven Bilic, who may look at Klasnic should he save Bolton.

Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic and Nikica Jelavic also seem to have found their form just at the right time to secure their places in Croatia's squad. Ivica Olic's Champions League strike for Bayern Munich against Marsielles also showed he still has enough to be considered and should play for his country in his last tournament this summer. Palermo's Igor Budan also could not have done more to turn Slaven Bilic's head. However Bilic has been conservative in his approach to management with Croatia in recent year and is unlikely to plump for the 31 year old, despite his 7 goals.

In midfield Tomislav Dujmovic, Ogjnen Vukojevic, Dario Srna, Daniel Pranjic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic all look to have done enough. However Hamburg's Ivo Ilicevic and Koln's Mato Jajalo look likely to miss out after quiet second half to the season. Dinamo Zagreb's Milan Badelj and Sammir look to stand a chance should injurys strike. Marin Ljubicic has also done well with Tavria and Ivica Vrdoljak has enjoy a good couple of season as captain of Legia Warsaw and will stake their claim if Croatia lose a defensive midfielder.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Former Croatian Under 21 international striker Dario Zahora is currently without a club, having been released by NK Osijek. The player failed to gain any real opportunity with Goran Ljubojevic, Josip Barisic, Anton Maglica and Ivan Milicevic difficult to displace. Before Ljubojevic and Barisic was transferred however, Osijek still chose to release Zahora. The 28 year old is now looking for a new club.

Opportunities are few and far between in Croatia just now with Sibenik, Karlovac and Varazdin not able to offer any form of decent certified contract or to have any surplus players. Meantime Lokomotiva are loaning from Dinamo Zagreb and other clubs dont appear keen to invest in a player out of condition having played barely any matches in the last two seasons whilst in Lokomotiv Sofia, Bnei Sakhnin or Lokomotiva Zagreb. Zahora could be chanced upon however by Inter Zapresic, who have made player sales in the last few season and are said to be financially stable. NK Zagreb are also gaining little out of their forward line and may chance on a proven goalscorer in the Slovenian League and with Dinamo Zagreb. It is likely Zahora needs a preseason to get in shape and find his form.

Although Osijek lost interest in Zahora, they are however keen to take free agent Jurica Vranjes back, but face stiff competition from HNK Rijeka. The player was said to be on the radar of Hajduk Split, but they no longer appear to want the 32 year old former Bayer Levekusen, Stuggart, Werder Bremen midfielder who is used to playing in a much higher level. Osijek do not need the player essentially with Vedran Jugovic and Tomislav Sorsa impressing in the midfield. However is a player who the fans would embrace having stayed in the German Bundesliga throughout his career with moderate success.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


HNK Rijeka appear to be sparking a arrival after agreeing contracts with former Croatia internationals Ivan Bosnjak and Dino Drpic. Drpic, initially impressed when transferring from Dinamo Zagreb to Karlsruher. However in the last two season he has faired poorly in his attempts to make a career abroad playing barely 10 matches in the last year whilst passing through AEK Athens and Volyn from Ukraine.

Ivan Bosnjak has been playing a little more regularly, but in China's Second Division with Chandong Lifan. The 33 year old formerly of Dinamo Zagreb and Genk made 22 appearences and scored 6 goals. Rijeka would welcome such a contribution to their young and inexperienced front line. Rijeka also appear close to a deal for Dinamo Zagreb captain Igor Biscan and are negotiating with Jurica Vranjes. Biscan could prove useful, however Osijek and Hajduk Split target Vranjes would appear a unneccessary pursuit with Damir Kreilach one of the best performers in the league. Rijeka are likely to finance their deals with the midfielders transfer abroad at the end of the season.

Rijeka may be on the pursuit of more players in the summer with Ahmad Sharbini and Bosko Balaban likely to be on the market. Rijeka may however face competition from near neighbours Istra 1961 who have improved immensely under Igor Pamic.

Elsewhere Slaven Belupo signed Bojan Vrucina and Davor Vugrinec to replace Leon Benko and Aljosa Vojinovic were transferred to the middle East. Belupo are currently third and set to qualify for the Europa Liga.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Croatia striker Igor Budan looks set to stay with Palermo after firing three goals in his last two matches. The injury prone 30 year old had been out the picture for much of the season and had been expected to leave this month. However he now appears back in the teams plans and may even make a last ditch attempt to win a place in Croatia's Euro 2012 squad in Poland and the Ukraine. Budan could have also made a stella signing for Croatian Champions Dinamo Zagreb, but that now is impossible. Also likely to stay is Croatian duo Ivica Olic and Daniel Pranjic at Bayern Munich, although their status as bench players remains the same. Srdjan Lakic could also stay in such a position with VfL Wolfsburg.

Players definitely on the move are Antun Dunkovic, Bojan Vrucina, Stiven Rivic and Antun Palic who were all released by their clubs. Slaven Belupo may look at Vrucina's return to prevent them losing momentum after Leon Benko's switch to Al Faisaly. Belupo are nicely poised but have lost their potency with Benko and Aljosa Vojinovic going East. Dinamo Zagreb who overrecruited have allowed talent Antun Palic to go without testing him. Palic, who set HNL1 alight last season with Inter Zapresic will attract a number of clubs. Rijeka lack such a player but are financially weak. Thus far they recruited Varazdin's Adam Susac and trialled Bojan Golubovic. Zadar took back Zelimir Terkes from China's Lifan and also signed Igor Prahic from Istra 1961.

Hajduk have sold goalkeeper Daniel Subasic who it is hoped will establish himself at fallen giants Monaco who are bidding to return to the top flight. They also cleared out Nikola Saric and Japanese defender Inohu. Mato Neretljak at 32 returns in central defence after leaving his mark in Korea and Japan. Filip Ozobic is also a exciting loan signing from Spartak Moscow. It is still possible Hajduk could sell star midfielder Marin Tomasov who is wanted by Maccabi Haifa and would be a step forward in the widemans career. Rivic who is a free agent would make a worthy replacement. Mario Maloca is also wanted in Germany and has been treading water in Croatia and needs a new challenge.

With Dinamo allow Palic and Pedro Morales to leave. The latter returning to Chile after becoming homesick. Mehmad Alispahic therefore has a role to play although Mateo Kovacic and Sammir are the preferred playmakers.