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Report: Zenit want to sign Cheryshev

Real Madrid youth teamer Denis Cheryshev is a target for Russian club Zenit St Petersburg, according to the player's father, Dimitry.

Cheryshev, 21, has been called up by Russia senior coach Fabio Capello for the home friendly with the United States on November 14 after impressing with four goals in ten Segunda Division games for Madrid Castilla. He also hit a spectacular double for his country's Under-21 side against Poland in September.

Cheryshev senior told Russian paper Izvestia that Zenit were interested in signing his son but had yet to make a definite approach.

"I have heard that Zenit are very interested in Denis, but I must say there have been no meetings or concrete proposals," he said.

"We will wait and see. If the conversations formalise and we receive a specific offer, we will study it. Of course, the interest of a club like Zenit is a great honour."

Premier League side Reading have also reportedly been interested in signing the left-sided attacker, who was born in Russia but began his football education in Spain when his father, a former senior international, spent five seasons at Sporting Gijon.

Denis Cheryshev, who joined Real's academy in 2002, scored for Madrid's senior team in a pre-season friendly at Real Oviedo, but has yet to feature for Jose Mourinho's side in a competitive game.

Meanwhile, Madrid centre-forward Karim Benzema, currently sidelined with an adductor muscle problem, has told French sports daily L'Equipe that he would like more game time.

Benzema has completed 90 minutes for Madrid only once this season as Mourinho shares out playing time with fellow centre-forward Gonzalo Higuain.

"Of course I would prefer to be playing more - from the start of the season I have spent more time on the bench than on the pitch - but I will keep fighting to make use of the minutes that I get," Benzema said.

"You cannot say that my start to the season has been very good."

The former Lyon attacker said it was part of Mourinho's management approach to keep his players under pressure to perform better.

"He never lets me ease up," Benzema said. "Even when things are going well, he tells me: 'You are not doing great.' When things are going really well, he tells me: 'You are OK.' This is all so you keep at a very high level."

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