Russian daily newspaper Izvestia understands that Dynamo Moscow full-back Yuri Zhirkov could have joined Zenit in the final stage of the summer transfer window.
As soon as the Russian Premier League chiefs announced that new rules would forbid clubs from fielding more than six foreigners in league games, Zenit made a move on the Russia international.
The side from Sankt Petersburg began talks with Zhirkov’s agent while hoping to offload Domenico Criscito and Cristian Ansaldi, but they eventually failed in their quest.
And while the Dynamo Moscow star was tempted by the prospect of representing Zenit in the Champions League, Domenico Criscito opted to remain at the club, thus ending hopes that the deal would be completed.
With Zhirkov requesting a three-year contract worth just short of €4 million per campaign, the Russian champions decided to pull out of the transfer.
The 32-year-old has since helped Russia record a very important win over Sweden, starting at left-back and producing a good performance before he was replaced by Oleg Kuzmin.