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Chelsea wrap up £18m transfer of Zhirkov

Chelsea completed the signing of Yuri Zhirkov from CSKA Moscow on Tuesday evening, then immediately set about looking to make one big deal for the summer.

Zhirkov's £18m move from the Russian club was agreed on Monday and now all the paperwork has been formally submitted. But Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck knows the club needs to prove it is not a spent force when trying to attract the world's best players.

With Kaka signing for Real Madrid and David Villa set to stay in Spain, Carlo Ancelotti and his bosses have so far failed to lure a top name to Stamford Bridge.

As Real Madrid look to corner the market for galacticos, Premier League clubs have found it hard to get in on the action. It would seem logical that Chelsea will now go all out for Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich.

Buck said: "We are looking for a marquee name, if that is the right terminology.

"But, as you know, as you read about in the papers, most of the big clubs are chasing the same players.

"We are only going to get one of those top-notch players, and there aren't very many of them, if the price is right and he fits into our team appropriately.

"But we are looking and we are optimistic."

Russia international Zhirkov, whose move to Chelsea has seemed certain for months, said after completing his move: "Any footballer would be happy to sign a contract with Chelsea, and at any time. I have been received very well here, and have been shown the base at the Cobham training ground - everything is super.

"Of course it is good when some of the players speak Russian, even today Petr Cech translated some bits and pieces, and I understand some words in English.

"Now I hope to learn English too. I always used to watch English football on the TV and know about Dmitri Kharine and Alexei Smertin at Chelsea.''

Zhirkov makes the move from CSKA Moscow after a five-year stint with the club. He joined them in 2004 from Spartak Tambov. He made his debut in 2001 and scored 26 goals in 74 games for the Russian third division outfit.

But it was at CSKA where he cemented his place as a wide man with a deft left foot, lightning pace and exceptional dribbling ability - scoring 15 goals in 139 appearances for the club.

He can play left-back but is comfortable in any position on that wing and it was as a more attacking midfielder that he won the UEFA Cup in 2005 after scoring during a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the final.

Zhirkov made his Russia debut in 2005 against Italy and has since made 31 appearances for his country - the majority of which have come under Chelsea's former interim boss Guus Hiddink.

He was named in the Euro 2008 'Team of the Tournament' after an impressive contribution throughout the competition as a wing-back when Russia were the surprise package in making the semi-finals. They lost to eventual winners Spain.

Zhirkov won the Russian Premier League twice with CSKA in 2005 and 2006 and has three Russian Cups to his name, in 2005, 2006 and 2008.


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