Zhirkov close to Anzhi move
Chelsea's Yury Zhirkov is poised to join Anzhi Makhachkala in his native Russia, according to prospective team-mate Rasim Tagirbekov.
Widespread reports in Moscow claim the defender-cum-midfielder is on the brink of sealing a £13 million move to Anzhi, whose defender, Rasim Tagirbekov, has claimed Zhirkov has met with the club's squad and head coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev.
Tagirbekov told Russian newspaper Izvestia: ''Of course, Yury is a great player. Everybody in the team is very glad that he will join our club.
''This transfer will strengthen Anzhi a lot. Zhirkov has already managed to talk to the team's head coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev and practically all the players.''
Zhirkov himself confirmed he had travelled to Russia, saying: ''I have arrived for two days to spend my weekend here.''
The sale of Zhirkov would free up space in Chelsea's 25-man Premier League squad for another foreigner, with the club weighing up a third bid for Tottenham's Luka Modric.
Zhirkov, who turns 28 this month, has struggled to establish himself in the Blues' first team since moving from CSKA Moscow two years ago.
A knee injury hampered his progress but he has ultimately failed to depose Ashley Cole as first-choice left-back or force his way into midfield.