Chelsea defender linked with Russian switch - reports

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Dynamo Moscow are interested in bringing Russian international Yuri Zhirkov to the nation's capital after a two-year spell at Chelsea, according to Sky Sports.

Zhirkov has been linked with a move away from Chelsea for a number of months, with Zenit St. Petersburg and former club CSKA Moscow thought to be interested in the player.

But it appears it's rivals Dynamo who are in pole position to land the Chelsea wide man, who garnered international acclaim after a standout European Championship tournament in 2008.

Reports in Russia go so far as to say that Dynamo held talks with Zhirkov before he returned for pre-season training with Chelsea last week, although that was unconfirmed by the Blues.

Dynamo executive director Roman Dyakov refused to comment on any potential moves involving the Chelsea player when he spoke to the media.

"Dynamo won't comment on any transfer issues until July 15, when the team returns from its training camps to Moscow," he said.


It's believed that Dynamo are waiting to hear whether new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas feels Zhirkov will be apart of his plans for the forthcoming season at Stamford Bridge, or if he will be allowed to leave.

If Zhirkov is allowed to leave, it could result in more first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge for 20-year-old Dutchman Patrick van Aanholt.

Van Aanholt, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Leicester City after making six appearances at Chelsea in the first part of the season, is thought to be the heir apparent to Ashley Cole by many in west London.

Van Aanholt is another one of Chelsea's young players who has been linked with Hamburg after former Chelsea chief of scouting Frank Arnesen became technical director at the Bundesliga side.

Former Chelsea youngsters Michael Mancienne, Jacopo Sala, and Gokham Tore have all joined the German club on a permanent basis since Arnesen's appointment, while Jeffrey Bruma has joined on loan, with van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta also recently linked with a switch.

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