Saturday, May 03, 2008
Arsenal opened bidding with 15m for Kranjkar
When we first reported on this site that Arsenal were interested in Portsmouth’s creative midfielder Niko Kranjkar as far back as early March there were some readers that ridiculed it either as pure speculation or even fabrication!
Well, once again we are proved right as our post “Wenger interested in Portsmouth ace to replace Arsenal midfielder” proved to foretell of what was to come.
We then wrote that Arsene Wenger was looking to replace Alexander Hleb who was and still is courted by Italian sirens.
And today’s English press is reporting what Niko’s father, ex Croatia national coach, Zlatko Kranjcar has confirmed Arsenal's interest.
"Wenger likes players with a sense of the game," Kranjcar told Croatian tv station Index. "Arsenal plays creative football and Wenger recognises this in Niko and he would be a logical replacement for Hleb."
This came after the current Croatia coach, Bilic, stated recently that Niko would be ideal for Arsenal’s way of playing. He was the one remember that encouraged Eduardo to join Arsenal having already given a glowing report on the player to Wenger.
Portsmouth is of course resisting with the general manager Peter Storrie issuing a statement just five days ago:
“As regards to all of this supposed interest in Niko, it was the first we heard about it. We don't know anything about it, Arsenal don't know anything about it and Niko doesn't know anything about it. So you can take it as the usual rubbish speculation that goes on at this time of the year” he said.
With Niko’s father “coming out” it doesn’t look like speculation now does it?
And there are further news for you. Arsenal have already bid 15m pounds (19m euros) for the player, Croatian internet news site index.hr is reporting. They also state that this has been rebuffed by Portsmouth.
Just for how long though? The player is probably too focused on the FA Cup final for the moment to force the issue if he wishes to. But after that is over the bidding will begin in earnest.
What is also of course interesting and troubling is Wenger’s desire to sign another creative midfielder unless someone is leaving.
This is worrying as Hleb has been the one who Wenger has been complaining about after Inter Milan’s approach to the player in an ice cream parlour in Italy.
And the Croatian media and Kranjakar’s father do mention that Niko is targeted as a replacement for Hleb.
We are not about to lose two of our midfielders are we?