Free agent Ryazantsev leaves Rubin for Zenit

Aleksandr Ryazantsev took little persuading to join FC Zenit on a free transfer from FC Rubin Kazan, saying the league leaders' offer "was the most interesting one".

Aleksandr Ryazantsev (right) in action against Zenit in March 2012
Aleksandr Ryazantsev (right) in action against Zenit in March 2012 ©Getty Images

Russia midfielder Aleksandr Ryazantsev has joined FC Zenit on a free transfer, bringing to a close an eight-year spell with FC Rubin Kazan.

The 27-year-old has signed a contract with the Russian Premier-Liga leaders running until the end of the 2017/18 campaign. "I got the Zenit offer at the end of the year," said Ryazantsev, who has been capped four times. "It was the most interesting one, so it wasn't too hard to accept. The main reason was that it's Zenit and that is all."

The Moscow-born player started his career at FC Moskva, moving to Kazan in 2006 and winning the Premier-Liga twice and Russian Cup once. The last of his 155 top-flight appearances for the Tatarstan side was on 7 December in a goalless draw with FC Lokomotiv Moskva, the team he also scored his 20th and final Rubin league goal against in late October.

Zenit, in Qatar for a warm-weather training camp, face 2013 runners-up Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on 25 February and 19 March.