Saturday, 24 August 2013


With transfer deadline approaching in just a week, all eyes in Croatia have been on RNK Split striker Ante Rebic and his likely destination.  The 20 year old was once again called in Croatia's national team squad to face Serbia, ahead of in form Atalanta striker Marko Livaja.  Roma, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City and Middlesborough all have interest in him.  Roma especially have the finances to make a move having sold Italian international Oswaldo, but it appears Fiorentina are set to sign Rebic as replacement for Stevan Jovetic who transferred to Manchester City. Split are ably acquitted in the forward line with Mate Bilic in form and Goran Roce, Aljosa Vojinovic and Henri Belle as support. Rebic's transfer gives them strength to address the inbalance in their midfield. Mario Carevic and NK Zagreb playmaker Besart Abdurahimi may both interest them.

Split are keen to find consistency to stay in touch with the leading pack. Lokomotiva Zagreb's latest win against Zadar is of concern to Split who are falling behind Tomislav Ivkovic's men in the race for European places.  Dinamo, Hajduk and Rijeka having already stated their intentions to challenge for the title from the onset and Rijeka's victory against Stuggart especially shows their strength with Leon Benko, Ivan Tomecak, Nikola Pokrivac and Zoran Krzvic making excellant starts to the season. The club have however attempted to trim their squad selling Drazen Pilcic to Slovenian club NK Koper and have allowed Ivan Krstanovic to leave after only a month. Matejz Kek has Daniel Cesarec to return, whilst Goran Mujanovic and Goodness Ajayi have made the biggest impression as support forwards. The club have no intention to sell their leading striker Benko for less than 1 million Euro's which seems unlikely at age 30 and have taken alternative measures to trim their forward line. Should Benko move before the transfer deadline, Rijeka intend to raid Dinamo for Andrej Kramaric, who has fallen out of favor.

Dinamo have changed their coach, parting with Krunoslav Jurcic in a desperate attempt to make the Champions League, however they still have a strong squad.  Dinamo now look set to keep Montenegrin international Fatos Beciraj after the player was brought back into the fold by Zoran Mamic and took little time to impress alongside Duje Cop and Junior Fernandes.  Hajduk are already out of Europe but are ticking along comfortably in the domestic league with their young players improving by the game.

Further down the table Osijek are still searching for much needed funds and reliant on former players to help the club. Midfielder Karlo Lulic has been a strong point in the early part of the season, whilst the club finally gain the papers from Naft Tehran for Goran Ljubojevic to strengthen their attack alongside Josip Barisic. The most mystifying club in early season has been Slaven Belupo who are rock bottom with two points and still find goals hard to come by. Its yet to be seen how long the club remains patient with coach Ivan Katilinic, who has been critical of his players pointing out poor form that began midway through last season. Goalscoring appears the weakest element however which has not been addressed. Despite a wholesale clear out which has seen Tomislav Busic (Solin), Davor Vugrinec, Mario Jelavic (Bochum) and Martin Saban (Pomorac) all leave, Matteo Roskam and Dzenan Haracic have not impressed so far as replacements. Belupo clearly need to do something and may look to Rijeka where Ivan Krstanovic, Josip Tadic and former player Ahmad Sharbini are all available.

Istra 1961 have not been as shy in adjusting their squad parting with four players in the last week and loaning Dinamo Zagreb's Mario Baric and Pomorac's Armando Mance. Igor Pamic will be especially pleased with a number of summer signings such as Srdjan Radonjic, Jo, Woon and Ivan Milicevic.