MOSCOW, June 20 (R-Sport) - Zenit St. Petersburg has agreed to sell Russia captain Igor Denisov to Anzhi Makhachkala, a source at Zenit has told R-Sport.
Denisov has long been unsettled at Zenit, where he was exiled to the reserves last September in a wage dispute sparked by the high salaries of new arrivals Hulk and Axel Witsel. Throughout last season, he was repeatedly linked with top English Premier League sides.
“On Wednesday, the clubs finally agreed the conditions for Denisov’s transfer from Zenit to Anzhi,” said the source, who suggested Anzhi had met a release clause in the midfielder’s contract.
“The club from Makhachkala used an option in the player’s contract that allowed him to make the move. The transfer document has already been sent to Anzhi and the transfer should be officially revealed soon.”
During his time at Zenit, Denisov has won the Russian title three times, as well as one Russian Cup and the 2008 UEFA Cup.
Having been at Zenit since 2001, Denisov is the second-longest-serving current player at the club after goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev, who has been with Zenit since 1997.
He has 37 caps for Russia. National team manager Fabio Capello gave him the captain’s armband in his first game in charge in August and Denisov has kept it ever since.
Denisov will be the first major signing of the summer for Anzhi, where he joins a midfield already boasting former Real Madrid and Chelsea player Lassana Diarra and highly rated Morocco international Mbark Boussoufa.
Earlier this month, Anzhi brought in winger Alexei Ionov from FC Kuban and goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov from FC Volga. The club received a boost last week when manager Guus Hiddink committed for another season.