Niko Kranjcar open to extending New York Cosmos stint

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers midfielder joined the NASL club last week on a deal for the 10-game spring season.

Niko Kranjcar has told Big Apple Soccer that he would be open to extending his spell with the New York Cosmos past the summer if his first few months at the NASL club go well.

Kranjcar, 31, first began training with the Cosmos at the start of preseason after being released by Dynamo Kiev in mid-January, before ultimately putting pen to paper on a contract for the 2016 NASL Spring Season last week.

The Croatian playmaker originally linked up with the club purely because he needed somewhere to train while assessing his options, but with no big offers coming from Europe, he decided that signing a short-term deal in New York would be his best bet.

The 10-game stint in the US second tier will give the former Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers midfielder the chance to regain his match fitness after earning just nine minutes of first-team football over the last nine months, but he is keeping an open mind in regards to what could happen further down the line.

"That's what I got offered," Kranjcar joked about his deal. "But obviously I'm happy to sit down and see what the future brings. I am more focused on the day to day training basis and obviously winning every single game that comes our way, then we'll definitely sit down in the summer and talk again.”

Kranjcar gives the Cosmos some much-needed star power after Spanish duo Raul and Marcos Senna retired in December upon leading the club to the 2015 NASL title, but whether he will go on to replicate their impact in New York remains to be seen.

He certainly has the ability to take NASL by storm if he stays beyond the summer, but head coach Giovanni Savarese is just pleased to have been able to get the World Cup veteran on board for 10 games at this point.

"We have to take things at its pace," Saverese told Big Apple Soccer. “The first decision was to bring him in to see him to see where he was, what kind of shape, then get to know him a little bit more. Both parties felt to make the next move. We will decide that to move forward while we're playing the spring season.

“He also has to keep on growing on what is next mutually [good for both parties], take one step at a time. We find ourselves together for the spring, which we didn't know if that was going to be the case."

After featuring in several friendlies, Kranjcar could make his competitive debut for the Cosmos on 3 April when they host 2015 Soccer Bowl runners-up Ottawa Fury in their season-opener at James M. Shuart Stadium.

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