Ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury, the younger brother of 41-cap Socceroo Tomi Juric will use the time to reflect on what could prove a sliding doors moment.

Days after indicating in the Croatian media that he was leaning towards the 2018 World Cup finalists, the Sydney-born the 23-year-of ex-Olyroo told FTBL he is now back on the fence amid ongoing overtures from dueling suitors Graham Arnold and Zlatko Dalic.

Deni's socceroos dilemma

  • Deni Juric says both the Socceroos and Croatia have expressed interest
  • He insists he hasn't yet decided which national team to pursue
  • The younger brother of Socceroo Tomi Juric, his family will have an influence
“I’ve spoken to both national team coaches - and both are really interested,” declared Juric.
“Just now I haven’t made a decision.

“I’m going have to sit down and really think about it because that’s my future and my whole career depends on it.”

With two goals and three assists for the defending champions before the untimely injury, Juric has made a quick impact at his new club as the nominal replacement for last season’s talisman Mario Gavronovic, who has joined Turkish outfit Kayserispor.

Juric said neither national coach had placed any pressure on him, counseling him simply to follow his heart.

“Both have told me the same thing - to go where my heart lies,” he added.

“Previously my head was always thinking towards Australia being my first choice if it ever came down to it, especially with Tomi being capped by the Socceroos. But now with Croatia being interested, it’s a really tough one.
“There is no (immediate) deadline - I’m not in a big hurry (especially in light of the injury).
“I just need to get back playing again soon and everything else will flow from there.

“I’ve been talking also to my parents and Tomi and their advice is to do what I think is best for my career.

“It’s a matter of which country you’re going to feel most comfortable playing for and which one you’re going to give 110 per cent for.”

Juric has featured in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers and Europa League so far this season and is targeting the October 21 clash at Rapid Vienna as a potential comeback date.

“This level is something different - the speed of the game and the quality of my teammates is just outstanding,” he added.

“It’s another world from anywhere I’ve played or trained before. It’s taken a few weeks just to get the hang of it, physically and mentally.

“There are big expectations here, especially when you’re coming in to replace the best striker in the league (Gavronovic with 18 goals last season).

“These are big shoes to fill but I’m optimistic I can do well, although maybe not as good as him.

“I wouldn’t mind 10 to 15 goals in my first season here - I think that would be a good return.”
To keep track of Juric's next fixtures, head to the Dinamo Zagreb website.