The 31-year-old Croatian, who was released by Dynamo Kiev in January, has been training with the New York Cosmos since the start of preseason and has now put pen to paper on a deal for the 2016 NASL Spring Season.
“I’ve enjoyed my time training with the Cosmos, working with these players and coaches has been a great experience,” Kranjcar told the club’s official website. “I think the style of play here suits me well, and I’m excited to officially represent the club on the field this season.”
Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese added: “Niko is not only a world class player, but also a fantastic human being. He has elite vision and technical ability with the ball at his feet, and we’re confident he can bring creativity to our approach in the attacking half of the field.”
Kranjcar has featured in a handful of the Cosmos’ preseason friendlies over the past month and will now give the club some much-needed star power after Spain legends Raul and Marcos Senna retired in December.
The mercurial playmaker, who has earned 81 caps for Croatia, famously helped Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth win the FA Cup in 2008 before later reuniting with his former manager at Tottenham and QPR, chalking up 153 Premier League appearances in the process along with 20 goals and 15 assists.
With Redknapp recently returning to football as Derby County’s new director of football, plenty had joked that a potential move to the iPro Stadium could be on the cards, but the World Cup veteran will instead be aiming to help the reigning Soccer Bowl champions hit the ground running when the 2016 NASL campaign kicks off in two weeks’ time.
His current deal is only for 10 games as things stand, but there may be an opportunity for an extension into the Fall Season if all goes well over the coming months.