Croatia forward Nikola Kalinic sent home for refusing to play against Nigeria

Croatia have thrown Nikola Kalinic out of their World Cup squad after he refused to play.

The striker was named on the bench for Saturday’s opening Group D clash against Nigeria.

National boss Zlatko Dalic ordered the striker to get ready to come on late in the 2-0 victory over the African nation.

However, Croatian media outlet 24sata claim the AC Milan star declined to enter the fray.

And that has led to Dalic axing the 30-year-old and sending him home this morning.

The shocking incident was referred to by the manager after the game when he told reporters the team had finished without injuries but “with a problem”.

Coach Zlatko Dalic said the Fiorentina striker complained of the same problem during their friendly defeat by Brazil.

His words: “Kalinic warmed up against Nigeria, he was to enter the second half and said he was not ready. .

Again, the same was true of Brazil as well as in training yesterday. I need healthy players, ready players and I sent him home because he is not ready.”

The news comes amid apparent transfer talks between Milan and Sevilla for Kalinic.

The La Liga side want to bring the experienced ace in on a season-long loan but the Serie A giants are looking for a permanent £17.5million deal.

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