Once £18 million Chelsea man among first victims of Anzhi purge?

Russia Fan Euro 2012

Yuri Zhirkov, formerly of Chelsea, is among the big names ready to lead the exodus from Anzhi Machachkala.

The news Anzhi Machachkala want to cash in on their major stars and 'reformat', bringing an end to their excessive spending, has put clubs across Europe on notice.

High earning and costly players like Samuel Eto'o, Willian, and Igor Denisov are all expected to be moved on, and recently re-signed Christopher Samba finds himself in a real quandry too.

And it appears they are willing to waste no time, with reports three players, including this summer's addition of Denisov from Zenit, are about to be sold.

Included in this first wave of potential exits is said to be former Chelsea player Yuri Zhirkov.

The Russian international of 58 caps was signed by Chelsea in 2009 by Carlo Ancelotti, but could not displace Ashley Cole at left-back nor hold down a regular place in left-midfield either, arguably his favoured position.

Injuries, including a three month knee layoff, largely prevented him from living up to his £18 million price tag, and he was sold for £13 million two years later to Anzhi as a cornerstone of their project.

Zhirkov played 23 league games for Anzhi last season scoring twice and registering five assists.

Now reports from the continent claim he is on the verge of being sold to Dinamo Moscow along with Denisov and fellow new signing Aleksandr Kokorin, who was signed a month ago and is yet to play for his new side.

Zhirkov is 29-years-old and has plenty of football left in him. For any new club if a transfer is confirmed, he may just be one of the bargains of the summer.

image: © PolandMFA

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