By Joey Lynch
Almost Socceroo Fran Karačić appears set for a Calcio move, with reports from Europe linking the 24-year-old with an imminent switch to Serie B side Brescia.
According to multiple reports from Croatia and Italy, the defender has already arrived in northern Italy for a medical and will serve as a cover for the departure of Ernesto Torregrossa, who moved from Brescia to U.C. Sampdoria on loan with an option to buy earlier in January, and the expected exit of Stefano Sabelli, who is on the radar of Spezia and Empoli.
Although officially on the books at Croatian powers Dinamo Zagreb since early 2020, Karačić has never actually played a game for the Croatian powers. Instead, he spent the past season on loan at previous side NK Lokomotiva, making 16 appearances across all competitions and netting a goal and three assists.
In all, he made over 140 appearances in the Croatian top-flight for Lokomotiva.
Per Sky Sports Italy, the sale of the naturalised Australian is set to net Dinamo a figure in the region of a million Euros.
Brescia – Le Rondinelle – have bounced between the top and second tier of Italian football in recent campaigns; return to Serie A after an eight-year absence following the 2018/19 season only to be relegated straight back to Serie B after a 19th place finish in 2019/20.
Coached by Davide Dionigi, the club currently sits in 11th place in the Italian second-tier, with five wins, six draws and six defeats from their opening 17 games ahead of a trip to Pisa this weekend.
Although well known amongst the dedicated contingent devoted to charting Australians abroad, Karačić first appeared on the radars of the majority of Australian football fans in the lead into the 2018 FIFA World Cup when he was named as part of Bert van Marwijk’s preliminary 26-man squad.
Despite representing Croatia at a junior international level, Karačić’s Australian-born father made him eligible to make a one-time switch nationality at senior level, which FIFA processed in time to keep his World Cup dream alive.
Unfortunately for the Zagreb born defender, though, he was ultimately absent from the final Socceroos 23-man squad, with then Western Sydney Wanderers’ and now Western United flanker Josh Risdon preferred on the right side of the defence.
Karačić told The World Game last June that he had no regrets about making the decision to switch from Croatia to Australia, although he admitted that he had not had any contact from new Socceroos coach Graham Arnold since he took over the role following the World Cup.