The signing of Steven Pienaar surely means that Niko Krancjar’s days at Tottenham Hotspur are numbered, and Neil Sherwin looks at the possible destinations for the Croat.
Who? Tottenham Hotspur’s Niko Kranjcar who becomes the club’s third choice ‘attacking midfielder that likes to cut in from the left’ behind Luka Modric and the recently signed Steven Pienaar, and that’s before you mention supporting striker Rafael Van der Vaart. At 26 years of age, Kranjcar is in desperate need of first team football having made just four league starts so far this season. He came to England from Hajduk Split and helped Portsmouth to their FA Cup victory in 2008. To date Kranjcar has made 61 international appearances for Croatia, scoring 15 goals, and he played at the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany.
Is he available? The acquisition of Pienaar means that Kranjcar is too far down the pecking order to be a massive loss to Harry Redknapp’s squad so he should be on the move for the right price. Speaking to Croatian newspaper Vecernji List last week, Kranjcar’s father Zlatko said that his son is not concerned about money and just want’s to play regularly. “He is 26 and just wants to play”, said Zlatko, who is the coach of the Montengrin national side. “If he leaves Tottenham it will be important for him to join another strong club. Liverpool would be OK.”. Kranjcar himself has expressed his desire to remain at White Hart Line but concedes that there may not be enough game time there for him.
Who wants him? Celtic boss Neil Lennon spoke of his admiration for the Croat as recently as the end of December, though dismissed all claims that there had been contact between the clubs. The latest to be linked are Chelsea and Liverpool, with the former still looking to fill the void left by the injured Yossi Benayoun. The Blues were also in for Pienaar but weren’t prepared to pay the £75,000 wages being sought. Kranjcar would need to bare that in mind if he were keen to remain in London. Fulham and West Ham were also mentioned at the beginning of the month.
How much would he go for? With Krancjar under contract with Spurs until 2013, the Daily Star has reported a figure of £6 million alongside Chelsea’s name, though Liverpool have been mentioned in a deal for £5 million. Either way Spurs are set to at the triple the amount they paid for him in 2009 (an undisclosed amount reported to be between one and two million), making it another shrewd bit of business for Daniel Levy.