NK Dinamo Zagreb have signed striker Mario Mandžukić and defender Ivica Vrdoljak from neighbours NK Zagreb following Eduardo da Silva's departure for Arsenal FC.
The Croatian champions have paid a €2m fee for the duo, with both signing five-year contracts. The 21-year-old Mandžukić scored eleven goals for Zagreb last season and was the league's ninth highest scorer. His form earned him a first call-up for Slaven Bilić's Croatia for the UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against F.Y.R. Macedonia in March but he did not play. "I will try to show what I can do at Dinamo," he said. "I will also try to be a decent replacement for Eduardo da Silva, but it will be hard as Eduardo is a top-class player."
The 23-year-old Vrdoljak was born in Novi Sad in Serbia but has spent his entire playing career in Croatia. He was also a Croatian Under-21 international. The duo will join fellow new arrivals Frank-Manga Guela and goalkeeper Georg Koch at the Maksimir Stadium. Dinamo will start their UEFA Champions League campaign in the first qualifying round with a two-legged tie against FK Khazar Lenkoran. The first leg is a week today in Azerbaijan, before the return in Zagreb on 24 July.
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