Spartak Moscow to offer Zhirkov escape from Chelsea
Yuri Zhirkov could be set to leave Chelsea, after Spartak Moscow boss Valeri Karpin admitted he is keen to bring the Russia international back to his homeland.
Zhirkov, 27, has struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge since his £18.6 million transfer from CSKA Moscow, with the versatile left-sided player unable to displace first-team regulars Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda down the Blues' left flank.
Part of Zhirkov's problem is that his time in London has been plagued by injuries, but it has still proved difficult for him to break into Carlo Ancelotti's starting XI even when fully fit.
And with Russia coach Dick Advocaat recently claiming that he will not consider picking players who are not experiencing regular first-team football, it may be in Zhirkov's best interests to move.
Zenit St Petersburg reportedly showed an interest in Zhirkov over the summer, but it is Spartak Moscow who now appear favourites to land him after manager Kapin publicly expressed his desire to sign the Russia international.
"I was interested, I am now and I will be in the winter," Kapin was quoted as saying in the Mail.