The close season in Russia has been a hive of activity, with FC Lokomotiv Moskva and FC Dinamo Moskva installing new coaches and Nemanja Vidić and Maniche both securing lucrative moves to the English Premiership.
Serbo-Montenegrin Slavoljub Muslin became the first foreign coach in Lokomotiv's history when he was appointed as replacement for Vladimir Eshtrekov in December. The well-travelled former FK Crvena Zvezda coach has signed a two-year deal with the side that were edged out of one of the Russian Premier-Liga's two UEFA Champions League spots right at the end of last season.
Dinamo's campaign ended even more abjectly as they finished well off the pace in a lowly eighth. Yuri Semin has been handed the task of turning around their fortunes but will have to do so without Maniche after the Portuguese midfielder joined Chelsea FC on loan until the end of the season and José Mourinho's team reportedly have a €6m option to make the deal permanent at the end of the campaign.
That marks a huge loss after Dinamo shelled out €16m to bring him to Russia from FC Porto last summer, but the club are still showing little reserve in the transfer market. Russian internationals Sergei Ovchinnikov, Dmitri Khokhlov and Igor Semshov have all been signed, along with former Ukraine defender Dmytro Parfionov.
Like Maniche, influential Serbo-Montenegrin defender Vidić is also now plying his trade in the English Premiership after joining Manchester United FC from the side that edged Lokomotiv to runners-up spot last term, FC Spartak Moskva. The club collected around €10m in the deal and will look to strengthen their squad as they seek to wrest the title from champions PFC CSKA Moskva, who are having a quiet winter thus far.
Elsewhere, FC Moskva have signed Petr Bystrov from FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast, while former coach Valeri Petrakov has returned for a second spell at FC Tom Tomsk after Anatoli Byshovets failed to agree a new contract. Georgia midfielder Georgi Kinkladze has signed a new deal with FC Rubin Kazan, and could now play alongside the club's recent signing, MacBeth Sibaya.
The South African international could be one of the side's seven permitted non-Russian players following a recent ruling by the Russian Football Union. In 2008 that figure drops to six allowed on the pitch at one time and then five in 2010.
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