Tottenham may be able to count Luka Modric, Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar and Stipe Pletikosa among their former Premier League squad members, but they have had far greater difficulty in luring some of Croatia’s younger talent to White Hart Lane.
Promising defender Tin Jedvaj chose Roma over Spurs last summer, while three-cap 17-year-old Alen Halilovic has reached an agreement to join Barcelona in the summer.
Unperturbed, Daniel Levy has now given up on his pursuit of the superstar teenagers of Dinamo Zagreb and headed to Hajduk Split instead, where another two talents have been linked with a switch to north London.
Tottenham are 1/2 to win their final Premier League game of the season at home to Aston Villa and a victory will ensure they finish sixth this season, meaning they qualify for the Europa League in the next campaign.
The chance of European football where fringe players tend to get some first-team opportunities may hold some sway over Tottenham’s young transfer targets.
Leading the way is 16-year-old central midfielder Andrija Balic, a technical player with an eye for a pass that has already appeared for the first team.
He would cost Spurs a little over £1m to sign and seeing how Nabil Bentaleb has established himself in the first-team this season, Balic may feel that he could make an immediate impact at White Hart Lane.
It is certainly a hot time for young Croatian footballing talent at present, with Fiorentina striker Ante Rebic, Inter midfielder Mateo Kovacic and Udinese defender Igor Bubnjic all no older than 21 and gaining international recognition.
Spurs’ second target comes from a big sporting family, with his older sister Blanka perhaps the most recognisable, being an Olympic silver medallist in the high jump and a two-time world champion.
Nikola Vlasic is more of an attacking player with an eye for goal, especially from long range.
Only Newcastle, Aston Villa and Sunderland average more shots from Tottenham from further than 18 yards this season and so Vlasic would seem a welcome addition to their ranks.