Turkish titans react to suggestions of ex-Russia captain transfer
Turkish football club Besiktas have denied interest in signing Russian former World Cup hero Artem Dzyuba after the out-of-contract star posted a video of their stadium on social media.
Dzyuba, 33, sparked speculation that he could be set for a move to the Istanbul titans when he shared a clip of their Vodafone Park home on his Instagram Stories.
The 6ft 6in forward has been searching for a new team since leaving Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg when his contract expired last season.
Reports have linked Dzyuba with a potential move to the Turkish Super Lig – although Besitkas is definitely not an option, according to Sport-Express.
The Russian outlet quoted the president of the Turkish team, Ahmet Nur Cebi, as informing them that Dzyuba’s post was purely coincidental.
“No, we are not signing a contract with Dzyuba, despite his video with our stadium on social media. We have never been interested in him. Why are you asking this at all,” Sport-Express reported Cebi as saying.
Dzyuba has been training with Rubin Kazan – managed by former Russia boss Leonid Slutsky – in recent weeks in a bid to maintain fitness.
There were claims back in June by football agent Paulo Barbosa that Dzyuba was set for a move to Turkish outfit Fenerbahce, who are Istanbul rivals to Besiktas.
That did not materialize, although Dzyuba is said to have received an offer from current Turkish top-flight leaders Adana Demirspor – a team featuring flamboyant former Manchester City and Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli.
Dzyuba is one of Russia’s best-known footballers after starring in the unlikely run to the World Cup quarterfinals on home soil in 2018, sparking a trend of ‘Dzyubamania’ and becoming renowned for his ‘salute’ goalscoring celebration.
The attacker left Zenit at the end of last season having helped the team to four successive Russian Premier League titles, as well as two Russian Cups and four Russian Super Cup crowns.
The big target man is his country’s joint all-time top scorer at international level with 30 goals in 55 games – level with fellow former Zenit star Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who needed 91 games to reach that tally.
However, Dzyuba has not featured for the team he formerly captained since the debacle for Russia at Euro 2020, when they exited at the group stage.
Manager Valeri Karpin, who took succeeded Stanislav Cherchesov following the tournament, is said to have held talks with Dzyuba to mend a previously fractured relationship stemming from their time together at Spartak Moscow, although Dzyuba declined a call-up for a training camp in March for what were described as “family circumstances.”