FC Lokomotiv Moskva have given their prospects of reaching the UEFA Europa League group stage a boost by signing Spanish midfielder Alberto Zapater on a free transfer.
The 26-year-old, who has agreed a five-year contract with the Russian Premier League outfit, said he was inspired to complete the move by the extent of the club's ambition and their recruitment of coach José Couceiro, for whom Zapater played at Sporting Clube de Portugal last season.
"I thought I would get an offer from Lokomotiv after Couceiro became their head coach," said Zapater, their fourth summer signing. "I was psychologically ready to go to Moscow because I knew I would be playing for a coach I know really well and I knew I would be joining one of the best and most ambitious clubs in Russia."
Zapater started out at Real Zaragoza, where he made 177 Spanish Liga appearances and scored five goals in as many seasons, before moving to Genoa CFC for the 2009/10 season and then Sporting.
Lokomotiv, who lie sixth in the league standings with 28 points from 18 matches, will learn their UEFA Europa League play-off opponents on Friday when the draw takes place in Nyon at 13.30CET.
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