Friday, 30 August 2013


RNK Split appear to be finding their form with their second straight win on Friday night over Hrvatski Dragovoljac.  All appears well after Ante Rebic's move to Fiorentina secured the club financially for the year. Whilst Stanko Mrsic, would have liked to see Rebic in a Red Shirt for a little longer, the team are now seeing the best of Henri Belle who was played out of position in early season.  Belle is now back alongside Mate Bilic and performed a lot better. Should they wish Split could strengthen in central midfield by signing a player from another club.  However they are currently happy to play safe, moving Denis Glavina to left wing and awaiting the return of key player Ante Vitaic.  Mario Carevic continues to be touted as a possible recruitment in the meantime and will make a decision on his future in the coming week.

HNK Rijeka are also expected to make a decision in the coming week on Leon Benko, the clubs best goalscorer who has an offer from Germany. The club have already agreed a deal with Andrej Kramaric as replacement, but have sold Drazen Pilcic to Luka Koper to reduce the forward line. Daniel Cesarec is expected to be involved when he returns from injury. However Ivan Krstanovic and Josip Tadic's future at the club is dependent on whether Benko stays. Goodness Ajayi is currently performing well when called upon and Matejz Kek could arguably release both Krstanovic and Tadic to find new clubs.

Hajduk Split showed they have every intention of keeping with young players this season, by allowing Mirko Oremus to join Bnei Sakhnin and Goran Blazevic to Levski Sofia. The club also rejected Catania's offer for Mario Pasalic, 18 and signed Georgian striker Giorgi Ilirudze and Haris Bukva, 25 to back up the squad. Hajduk are well set up for the season, but are highly dependent on Franko Andriajsevic and striker Anton Maglica staying fit, as have already lost Mijo Caktas and Jack Kouassi to injury. Hajduk's defeat to Osijek however was a set back and possible indication that this year may be a struggle to retain a European spot.

Dinamo Zagreb also have no real problems at present.  The club may still yet sell Alen Halilovic before transfer deadline to make up for the loss of failing to qualify for the Champions League. The Croatia international is not in Dinamo's starting line up as Sammir, Junior Fernandez, El Soudani and Said Husjenovic are all preferred ahead of him. The player must decided whether to remain with Dinamo or make a deal to move to Tottenham Hotspur where he could be loaned out to receive more playing time. Sammir and Fatos Bequiraj are the main beneficiaries of the coaching change, but Zvonko Pamic and Ante Rukavina may see less playing time, but are expected to stay in contention. Istra 1961 have released 5 players in the last two weeks and may enquire with Dinamo about loaning Pamic who has fallen behind Arijan Ademi, Marcelo Brozovic, Jerko Leko and Bakary Sare in central midfield. Pamic is the son of Istra coach Igor who both suffered the family loss of former Standard Liege and Rijeka midfielder Alen Pamic (Zvonko's elder bother) who died aged 23 this summer. A return to Pula may benefit father and son.

At the lower end of the table Slaven Belupo took the opportunity to kickstart their season with victory over Zadar. Ivan Katalinic added Dominik Glavina to his midfield in the week, but are still in need of a goalscoring centre forward as are heavily reliant on Enes Novicic. Ahmad Sharbini, Andrej Keric, Josip Tadic, Ivan Krstanovic are all available and capable of improving Belupo's attack, but whilst the club won't take a gamble they could be in for a hard season. Zadar themselves may consider dipping in for new players as wins for Osijek and Belupo have pulled them back towards the relegation places. Departures of quality forwards like Ivan Santini and Stipe Perica have left them a little short in that area.

HNK Cibalia are yet to agree a move for former Croatia international Ivan Bosnjak, 34. However they have completed the signing of Andrea Ottochian from Istra 1961. The team looks good to fight NK Zagreb and Inter Zapresic for promotion who have already stated their intentions of a swift return to HNL1.