JOSIP JURANOVIC insists he will blank all transfer speculation until Croatia’s World Cup bid is over.
The Celtic right-back and his team-mates are preparing for tomorrow night’s semi-final against Argentina with the silverware showdown scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Juranovic has stepped into the spotlight in the global showpiece and his faultless performance against Vinicius Junior in his country’s quarter-final penalty-kick shoot-out victory over Brazil has made big-money clubs take notice with Barcelona now among them, as CQN reported earlier today.
ON THE MOVE…Josip Juranovic in action for Croatia on their way to tomorrow night’s World Cup semi-final.
The 27-year-old defender’s value has skyrocketed from the £2.5million the Hoops paid Legia Warsaw in August 2021 to land the player on a five-year contract.
Asked how it felt to have his name mentioned in connection with interested club, Juranovic answered: “Honestly, I haven’t read what was written since we arrived at the World Cup.
“We’re just focused on the national team. I even told my agent not to send me anything. I’m not interested at all right now.
“I want to do something for myself, my future sons and daughters, I want to tell them the story of what we did and to be proud.”
Juranovic, speaking to the Daily Mail, continued: “I may not be a player worth 20-30 million euros, as today’s media put out all kinds of figures, but you must know one thing.
THE RACE IS ON…Josip Juranovic and his Celtic team-mate Daizen Maeda in a tussle for possession before Croatia’s penalty-kick shoot-out success over Japan.
“I never gave up, even when I was in Hajduk and Dubrava – and neither now at Celtic nor with Croatia.
“My parents taught me to look forward and not look at what others write. There was scepticism in Hajduk, but I always looked forward. Life tells strange stories, I stuck to my point that I needed to prove myself on the field.”
Now Juranovic is gearing up to face Lionel Messi and his South American team-mates and added: “We shouldn’t be afraid of anyone and we should look at ourselves.
“Tomorrow, we will look at the analysis with the coach and decide how and what to play.
“The secret is that we are all a real family and we stick together. We breathe for each other from the first minute to the last and that is simply the secret of our success.
EYES ON THE BALL…Josip Juranovic keeps his concentration.
“Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic is the best Croatian midfield, I don’t know when it will happen again.
“Passing the ball to them is safer than putting your money in the bank.
“It’s easier when you play with them. I’m lucky enough to share a dressing room with such players and be able to buy into that knowledge.
“I’m very happy to be there. We want to make our people happy, to come home proud and with our heads held high. We are such a small country with a big heart.”