Thursday, August 15, 2013

Star trio head Anzhi firesale

Anzhi's firesale is in full swing after Dynamo Moscow president Gennady Solovyov confirmed that all of Igor Denisov, Aleksandr Kokorin and Yuri Zhirkov have been signed by the club and will be unveiled as Dynamo players on Friday.

Kokorin and Denisov are recent signings at Anzhi, having only spent just over a month at the club after joining from Zenit and Dynamo respectively. Denisov only made three appearances for the club, while Kokorin failed to appear due to suspension. Meanwhile, Zhirkov joined Anzhi from Chelsea in 2011 and made 46 league appearances in his time at the club. The fee for the triple transfer was undisclosed, however Anzhi is expected to make a loss on all three players after Kokorin joined for €19 million and both Denisov and Zhirkov for €15 million each.

The transfers follow the completion of Oleg Shatov's move to Zenit (ironically, this was most likely to replace Denisov), while Samuel Eto'o and Willian are believed to be in talks with English Premier League clubs Chelsea and Liverpool respectively. Foreign players such as Lassana Diarra, Lacina Traore and Christopher Samba are also expected to complete moves away from the club, in addition to lesser known Russian players like Vladimir Gabulov, Arseni Logashov and Aleksei Ionov

Speculation is all well and good, but the facts are that Anzhi's project is now officially over and that the firesale still has a long way to go. Especially after their poor start to the season, expect Anzhi to struggle greatly this year, possibly even falling into a relegation battle. Nonetheless, it is a sad time for a league that was finally gaining parity at the top, despite this being a result of excessive spending. CSKA, Spartak and Zenit are now the only likely contenders in what looks to be a three horse race for the RPL title.

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