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25 Nov, 2008 09:46

Zenit turn to home-grown talent

The final games of the Russian Premier League were played just two days ago. But last year’s champions Zenit have already started rebuilding for next season. The Saint Petersburg team’s first signing for the 2009 campaign will be Russian international Ig

The Dinamo midfielder has said he’ll sign for Zenit when he returns from holiday. Adding he would have stayed with the Moscow club if they had given him the pay rise he wanted.

But the deal between the clubs is yet to be finalised, as Dynamo insist they haven't yet been approached by Zenit.

A clause in Semshov's contract means Dinamo have to let him go if somebody offers €8 million for him. 

There were rumors that champions Rubin Kazan and Spartak Moscow were eager to pay out, but the player chose Saint Petersburg over the other two.

It’s said that his salary is going to double after the move.

Semshov is seen as a replacement for Anatoly Tymoshchuk, one of Zenit’s leading players, who is set to leave for German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich during the winter brake.  

Igor Semshov helped Dinamo Moscow claim the bronze medals this year, which gave the team a spot in the qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.

The midfielder also played a crucial role in Russia’s Euro 2008 success, appearing in the starting line up in most of the games at the tournament.  The Russian press say he’s one of Guus Hiddink’s favourite players.   

Zenit could only manage a UEFA Cup spot next season after finishing fifth in the Premier League.   

Semshov became Zenit’s second big signing from Dinamo this year. Portuguese international Danni moved from Moscow to St Pete for a record sum of $US 30 million during summer break.

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