Chelsea target speaks after failed deadline day move

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 5 Sep 2022 20:58 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 5 Sep 2022 20:58 BST 3 min read
Arsen Zakharyan in action for Dynamo Moscow

Chelsea registered Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria on transfer deadline day, but there could easily have been one more late arrival...

Chelsea were the biggest spenders or the summer transfer window, dropping more than €280 million on the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly and making Wesley Fofana the most expensive defender of all time.

They also spent big on players for the future, like Aston Villa's Carney Chukwuemeka who arrived for €18m or Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina who was signed for €9.1m as part of new owner Todd Boehly's "Vision 2030" project.

Boehly replaced Roman Abramovich as owner in May, but as one Russia was leaving Stamford Bridge there could have been another arriving in the shape of Dynamo Moscow midfielder Arsen Zakharyan.

Chelsea had met Zakharyan's £12.6m release clause but with Russia having invaded Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russian clubs by the UK government, the transfer couldn't be completed.

Zakharyan still keen

Zakharyan still wants to make the move in January.

"There was an offer, but it just didn't work out," he told Russian daily Sport Express. "You probably know the reasons. How could I refuse? Of course, I agreed [to the move]. I hope everything will be fine. The next window? Maybe.

"Of course, the level there is much higher than in the Russian Premier League, but everything is possible. Maybe it would work there. I could always go on loan."

Zakharyan was born in Samara to Armenian parents in May 2003, roughly 10 years after his parents had fled their native land due to war. But he rejected the idea he might change his nationality to force through a move.

"I didn't intend to change anything," he said. "I was going to play there and nothing else."

Zakharyan had a hand in 18 goals in 34 games in all competitions for Dynamo Moscow last season, and already has three goal involvements from seven games in the Russian Premier League this term.