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Rising Croatia star Kramaric warned to choose next club carefully and quickly

Rising Croatia star Kramaric warned to choose next club carefully and quickly

Davor Javorović/Pixsell

EXCLUSIVE: The 23-year-old Rijeka forward has scored 39 goals in 34 league matches since July 2013, and Niko Kovac has urged him to consider his many suitors with caution

By Ante Buskulic

Croatia coach Niko Kovac has warned Rijeka starlet Andrej Kramaric that he must choose his next club carefully.

Kramaric, 23, has attracted interest from around Europe thanks to a fine campaign in the Croatian Prva HNL in which he has scored 21 goals in 16 matches, plus six in seven in the Europa League.

He scored 30 goals in 41 matches in all competitions last season and has been linked with moves to Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea and Leicester City, among others, in recent weeks.

Leicester even tabled a €10 million bid for the star, which Rijeka are understood to have accepted only for the Foxes to be rejected by the player himself, but Kovac says Kramaric would be wise to consider where he will get the most playing time.

"My advice not only to him but all young players going out is don't look at how high a salary you can get but choose a club you will play in," he told Goal.

"Because when young players go out, they do not know anybody, don't have friends, family, don't know the language, and if they don't play, they lose confidence and in year or two - disappear.

"And if they play in some smaller team, the opportunity will come to go to a bigger club and earn more."

But Kovac also says Kramaric should not hang around, suggesting that the upcoming transfer window could be the best time to secure a move rather than wait until the end of the season.

"Since Kramaric is playing great now, scoring goals, and there might come an injury, perhaps it would be better for him to leave Rijeka now than to wait until summer," he added.

Kovac handed Kramaric his Croatia debut in September after he represented his country at seven different youth levels from the Under-14s up to the U-21s.

He has scored twice, against Malta and Azerbaijan in Euro 2016 qualifiers, in his four senior appearances to date.

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