Zenit St. Petersburg's failure to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League will cost them some of their best players as they gear up for a huge January sale according to reports.
The Russian club missed out to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen in Group C and will instead drop to the Europa League, which has heaped on the financial pressure. Having spent big over the past few seasons Zenit could now to offload some of their top stars for a bargain price to make up for the loss of revenue.
For starters, powerful forward Hulk could be up for grabs, with both Chelsea and Tottenham looking to snap him up. Also potentially up for sale is Axel Witsel, who joined Zenit in a joint deal alongside Hulk that was worth £64 million.
Ezequiel Garay and Javi Garcia are then next men on the list - and they have been heavily linked with Manchester United in the past. Garay in particular has been on the radar of the Red Devils, but his move to Russia seemingly put paid to that.
However if he is available, Manchester United could make their move in January in an attempt to shore up their leaky defence which has ben ravaged by injury. Adding to boss Louis van Gaal's woes is the fact that Chris Smalling has been ruled out until Christmas at least.
Article continues below
Manchester United have also ben linked with Garcia, along with Arsenal and Liverpool who could be in the market for midfield reinforcements. The former Manchester City ace has done well under Andre Villas-Boas and would certainly be an improvement to Arsenal's midfield if the call comes.
What could kickstart the firesale is if Villas-Boas departs. He has a strong relationship with his players, especially Hulk, and he's been linked with the top job at Liverpool if Brendan Rodgers departs from Anfield.