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30 Aug, 2022 10:00

Russian prodigy’s Chelsea move ‘under threat’ – media

Reports have linked Arsen Zakharyan with a switch to the Premier League
Russian prodigy’s Chelsea move ‘under threat’ – media

Russian teenage talent Arsen Zakharyan’s proposed move to Chelsea is becoming less likely, according to reports in Russia. The midfielder has been tipped for a €15 million ($14.95 million) switch to the English Premier League from current club Dynamo Moscow.

According to Sport-Express, the deal for the 19-year-old – who is widely considered among the brightest young prospects in world football – is “under threat” due to issues stemming from the transfer of the funds to the Russian club. The clock is ticking as European football’s summer transfer window closes on September 1.

Zakharyan’s agent claimed last week that a move was “very close” to happening, although Sport-Express now describes that likelihood as “gradually decreasing.” Elsewhere, reports in Russia have stated that Dynamo want firm guarantees from Chelsea over the transfer for the funds to avoid any issues.

Dynamo were recently forced to call off a deal for Israeli youngster Eden Kartsev, who had appeared set to head to Moscow from Maccabi Netanya on loan with an option to make the move permanent. The agreement fell through when funds Dynamo had tried to transfer were apparently held up in Europe.

Back in February, Russian bank VTB – which has been sanctioned by the EU, UK and US – announced the transfer of shares in Dynamo, although it still sponsors the team’s shirts and the club plays at the VTB Arena in Moscow.

Should the deal for attacking midfielder Zakharyan still go ahead, he would be part of a summer spending spree at Chelsea under the club’s new ownership headed by Todd Boehly. The American financier led a consortium to take over at Stamford Bridge from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who was sanctioned by the UK government for his supposed connections to Vladimir Putin.

Chelsea have already splashed more than £190 million on new stars this summer, with manager Thomas Tuchel welcoming the likes of winger Raheem Sterling from Premier League rivals Manchester City, defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, and full-back Marc Cucurella from Brighton.

In terms of young talent, in recent weeks Chelsea have also captured highly-rated American goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina from MLS team Chicago Fire, as well as young Englishman Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa. Elsewhere, the London club completed deals for Inter Milan's 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei and ex-Arsenal youngster Omari Hutchinson.

Zakharyan has reportedly been offered a six-year deal at the Blues. The midfielder has won four caps for Russia and has made 53 appearances across all competitions for the senior Dynamo set-up, scoring 13 times and providing 16 assists.