Nikola Djurdjic was considered a top target for many European clubs in January including Fulham, Celtic, AC Milan and AZ Alkmaar. However he has instead chose to sign for Bundesliga's basement club Greuther Furth. Why?
Serbian striker Nikola Djurdjic was heavily linked with a move to Fulham among many other English and European clubs in recent months. The Serbia international even saw himself linked with the like of Celtic, Udinese, AZ Alkmaar and Italian giants AC Milan.
The 26-year-old was causing quite a stir in Scandinavia where he had moved to Norwegian side Haugesund from homeland outfit FK Vozdovac in 2009. During his four year spell in Norway he scored an impressive 57 goals in 107 appearances which attracted the interest of Swedish giants Helsingborg who acquired him on loan until mid-January in August.
His time in Sweden has been equally as impressive as he scored 14 goals in 19 appearances including four in eight European appearances. It has been this form that has alerted some of the Premier League’s bargain hunters and European giants such as AC Milan to his potential.
As recently as yesterday he was quoted as saying he had no idea of interest from abroad:
"I have no idea about this, actually. I have no concrete offers yet, and I'm a Helsingborg player until January 15. As I said before, nothing has changed in terms of my status. I talked to people in Helsingborg this week, but nothing is decided. Far from it."
It was believed the Swedish outfit, as much as they wanted to hold on to him, could not afford the official buy-out clause in his contract which is believed to over £1 million so with absolutely no concrete interest reported as of Wednesday it would seem a long shot that he could be playing in the Premier League; or anywhere else for that matter come January.
If that was the case then things must have moved pretty fast as the striker has now left Haugesund and Helsingborg in a transfer deal announced just a day after he stated he had no knowledge of an impending transfer, here is what he had to say:
"The offer was fantastic and I could not say no to it. The manager wanted me; I was his first choice, so I can expect to play plenty of games. So far everything is great and I can't wait to start my new adventure. I believe this is the best move for my career at this time.’’
So which club has he moved to; who have won the fight to his signature…
No disrespect at all is intended to The Cloverleaves but considering the reported wealth of interest in his signature it is a bizarre move.
Last season they won the 2. Bundesliga to earn their place in the top-flight but they have struggled significantly upon their return to the big time; currently lying bottom of the table 10 points adrift of safety.
It is certainly one of the more surprising deals across Europe ahead of the winter window opening so why would he choose Furth over London, Milan or Glasgow.
It would seem the reason is first-team football. He has been banging in the goals for years now as the first name on the team-sheet and while the challenge of a massive step-up would surely have appealed to him it seems the allure of being the recognised number one marksmen in the rapidly expanding German football system was more favourable to bench-warming at a ‘bigger club’.
Has Djurdjic made the right decision?
image: © nicksarebi