Who is Ivan Lepinjica? The £4.3m-rated midfielder linked with Chelsea and Tottenham transfer

Premier League teams still have a couple of weeks to bolster their respective squads in the January transfer window.

Some have already made signings. Liverpool welcomed Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg as soon as the window opened, while Crystal Palace have loaned Cenk Tosun from Everton for the remainder of the season.

On Wednesday morning Tottenham Hotspur confirmed the signing of Gedson Fernandes on an 18-month loan and there’s talk of another midfielder arriving in north London before deadline day.

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The latest name is that of Ivan Lepinjica as reports claim the Lilywhites as well as Chelsea have been keeping close tabs on the HNK Rijeka midfielder for a number of months.

But who is Lepinjica and why are the two London clubs about to do battle for his signature.

football.london takes a look.

Who is Ivan Lepinjica?

Ivan Lepinjica is a 20-year-old midfielder who plays his football in Croatia with HNK Rijeka.

Born in Rijeka, he joined the HNK youth ream in 2013 following six years with Pazinka and spent the first half of last season on loan at Zardar in order to gain some much needed first-team experience.

Lepinjica returned to Rijeka at the beginning of 2019, making his first-team debut in a 4-2 win over NK Rides on February 22nd and went on to make 14 appearances across all competitions, scoring once and claiming one assist.

Ivan-Lepinjica celebrates with a teammate (Image: Google)

Interestingly, Lepinjica was an unused substitute when HNK beat AC Milan in an Europa League group stage meeting in the 2017/2018 season.

How has he performed this season?

Lepinjica has featured plenty for HNK this season. He featured in both Europa League third round qualifiers against Aberdeen all the way back in August and did the same in the next round against Gent.

Unfortunately, there was to be no European football for the midfielder after crashing…