According to Sovetskii Sport, Dinamo Moscow’s left-back, Yuri Zhirkov, could be headed to league rival Zenit Saint Petersburg in the January transfer window.
The 32 year old Zhirkov, who played for Chelsea FC in the English Premier League, has six months left on his contract at Dinamo Moscow, and Dinamo are more than willing to sell the player now rather than wait for Zhirkov to leave on a free transfer in the summer.
The paper further suggests that Dinamo have already accepted an offer by Zenit, and that both clubs are willing to agree on a transfer if Zhirkov accepts the personal terms with Zenit.
Zhirkov has played 16 games for Dinamo Moscow this season, recording two assists, and scoring a rather mediocre whoscored.com score of 6.80. Zenit are currently looking at augmenting the number of Russian national team players in their squad in anticipation of new regulations regarding the limitation of foreigners allowed in Russian Football Premier League squads.
Zenit have eight foreigners on the payroll at the moment, but new regulations could limit the number of foreigners allowed in every squad to six. Zenit have, therefore, been linked to several Russian national team players including Aleksandr Kokorin, who is also linked to Arsenal.
In turn, several foreign players are expected to leave Zenit as early as this winter, as Zenit’s defender Luís Neto has been linked with a move to Sporting Lisbon. Ezequil Garay and Domenico Criscito could be the other candidates for a winter departure from Saint Petersburg.
For Zhirkov, a transfer to Zenit could be his last title shot, as it is anticipated that this will be his last major transfer before retiring. Playing for Zenit in the Champions League could be a major motivational factor for Zhirkov, as he considers leaving Moscow for Saint Petersburg.