Dinamo act quickly to replace Eduardo
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
NK Dinamo Zagreb have signed striker Mario Mandžukić and defender Ivica Vrdoljak from NK Zagreb following Eduardo da Silva's departure for Arsenal FC.
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.