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Russia's rush for top-class talent

Published: Wednesday 18 July 2012, 20.46CET
Champions FC Zenit St Petersburg have yet to splash out, but their main rivals for the upcoming Russian season have been wheeling and dealing before the campaign begins on Friday.
by Dmitri Rogovitski
from Moscow
Russia's rush for top-class talent
Rômulo is Spartak's big summer signing ©AFP
Published: Wednesday 18 July 2012, 20.46CET

Russia's rush for top-class talent

Champions FC Zenit St Petersburg have yet to splash out, but their main rivals for the upcoming Russian season have been wheeling and dealing before the campaign begins on Friday.

The Russian season starts on Friday, with FC Zenit St Petersburg keeping faith with the side that won them the 2011/12 title. surveys the Premier-Liga's big summer ins and outs.

FC Zenit St Petersburg
In: none
Out: Andrey Arshavin (forward, Arsenal FC – end of loan)
Montenegrin youth international Luka Djordjević and Georgian midfielder Levan Kenia are still hoping to confirm moves to the Petrovsky Stadium, with fans itching for new arrivals in the wake of last week's 2-0 Super Cup defeat by FC Rubin Kazan. Playmaker Danny is absent with a serious knee injury and Andrey Arshavin has returned to Arsenal FC after his loan spell expired, but coach Luciano Spalletti has said that signings are definitely on the cards.

FC Spartak Moskva
In: Ilya Kutepov (defender, FC Akademiya Tolyatti), Rômulo (midfielder, CR Vasco da Gama)
Out: Aleksandr Sheshukov (midfielder, FC Rostov)
Five-times capped Brazil defensive midfielder Rômulo is Spartak's marquee signing, last season's runners-up having failed to lure Cagliari Calcio defender Davide Astori and Real Madrid CF midfielder Lassana Diarra. However, new coach Unai Emery – previously at Valencia CF – may be their most significant acquisition. The Spaniard was persuaded to come to the club by executive director Valeri Karpin, once his team-mate at Real Sociedad de Fútbol.

In: Mário Fernandes (defender, Grêmio FBPA)
Out: Deividas Šemberas (midfielder, FC Alania Vladikavkaz), Serder Serderov (forward, FC Anzhi Makhachkala)
The Army Men fell flat last season and are eager to mount another assault on the summit in 2012/13, having signed Brazilian right-back Mário Fernandes. Deividas Šemberas has been allowed to leave and another ageing midfielder, Evgeni Aldonin, has also been told his time is up, as has 18-year-old Serder Serderov. Leonid Slutski wants a versatile midfielder and a top-class striker; since a torn cruciate ligament ruled Tomáš Necid out for nine months, Seydou Doumbia has been CSKA's only out-and-out forward.

FC Dinamo Moskva
In: Gordon Schildenfeld (defender, Eintracht Frankfurt), Otman Bakkal (midfielder, PSV Eindhoven)
Out: Alexandru Epureanu (defender, PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara – loan), Aleksandr Samedov (winger, FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Tomislav Dujmović (midfielder, FC Mordovia Saransk – loan), Fyodor Smolov (forward, FC Anzhi Makhachkala – loan)
In Aleksandr Samedov, Dinamo lost one of the best right-sided attackers of last season, and with Andriy Voronin also tipped to leave as he seeks regular first-team football, Otman Bakkal is set to take the Ukrainian's spot. Coach Sergei Silkin has also expressed his satisfaction with Croatia centre-back Gordon Schildenfeld.

FC Anzhi Makhachkala
In: Lacina Traoré (forward, FC Kuban Krasnodar), Fyodor Smolov (forward, FC Dinamo Moskva – loan), Serder Serderov (forward, PFC CSKA Moskva)
Out: Aleksandr Makarov (goalkeeper, FC Sibir Novosibirsk), Benoît Angbwa (defender, FC Rostov), Jan Holenda (forward, FC Rostov), Makhach Gadzhiev (forward, released)
The Dagestan side have shuffled their striking options, ousting Czech Jan Holenda and allowing Aleksandr Prudnikov to return to Spartak once his loan expired. Samuel Eto'o's new strike partner will be Lacina Traoré, who was the third highest scorer in the league last season with 18 goals.

FC Rubin Kazan
In: Iván Marcano (defender, Villarreal CF), Ivan Temnikov (defender, FC Dinamo Bryansk), Mihail Plătică (midfielder, FC Academia Chisinau)
Out: Petr Nemov (midfielder, PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara), Evgeni Balyaykin (midfielder, PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara), Sergei Kislyak (midfielder, FC Krasnodar – on loan)
There have been few significant changes at Rubin in the summer, and notably coach Kurban Berdyev – whose future was the subject of much discussion at the end of last season – remains in place. The most notable new arrival is Iván Marcano, who played against Rubin in the UEFA Europa League while on loan at Olympiacos FC in 2011/12. Victory against Zenit in the Super Cup showed that Rubin are still a team to be reckoned with.

FC Lokomotiv Moskva
In: Vedran Ćorluka (defender, Tottenham Hotspur FC), Aleksandr Samedov (midfielder, FC Dinamo Moskva)
Out: Anton Amelchenko (goalkeeper, FC Terek Grozny – loan), Andrei Ivanov (defender FC Rostov – loan), Ruslan Nakhushev (defender, FC Krasnodar), Vladislav Ignatyev (midfielder, FC Krasnodar), Stanislav Ivanov (midfielder, released)
Following the arrival of coach Slaven Bilić, rumours circulated that Diego, Mario Mandžukić, Rafael van der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor might soon be Railway Boys, too. As it stands, Vedran Ćorluka and Loko old boy Aleksandr Samedov are the only notable arrivals, with the latter much coveted by Russia's top sides.

FC Kuban Krasnodar
In: Ángel Dealbert (defender, Valencia CF), Ibrahima Baldé (forward, CA Osasuna), Daniel Niculae (forward, AS Monaco FC)
Out: Lacina Traoré (forward, FC Anzhi Makhachkala)
Following Traoré's departure for Anzhi, coach Dan Petrescu looked to be Kuban's only remaining star, but the Romanian has snared two more good forwards – countryman Daniel Niculae and Senegal's Ibrahima Baldé – and is confident that his squad have what it takes to secure a European place for next term.

Last updated: 19/07/12 10.04CET

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