European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Zenit in talks over Nani deal, Starikov goes on loan, & more


photo by Matt West/ISIphotos.com


The transfer window may be closed throughout most of Europe but one country in which it is still open is Russia, and one club there is trying to take advantage of that by luring Manchester United winger Nani.

Zenit St. Petersburg have reportedly been in negotiations over Nani with Manchester United on Thursday, hoping to finalize a deal before the Russian deadline day comes to a close. The Portuguese international has had a slow start to the Premiership campaign and the arrival of Shinji Kagawa at Old Trafford may make minutes tough to come by for Nani.

Zenit St. Petersburg has enjoyed a good summer in terms of signings. They recently acquired Brazilian forward Hulk as well as Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel. The combined amount spent on those two players was $101 million.

Here are more stories from Thursday:


American striker Eugene Starikov's exile from Zenit St. Petersburg has come to a close. At least for now.

Starikov was loaned by Zenit to fellow first division Russian club FC Rostov on the final day of the Russian transfer window. The loan is for the entire 2012-2013 season and should give the 23-year-old American a chance to get some playing time. Starikov had not dressed in any of Zenit's games this season.


Fiorentina are still upset over losing in the race to acquire Dimitar Berbatov, so much so that they want his agent to repay them for the traveling costs they spent in trying to acquire the striker. The Serie A side paid for Berbatov and his agent to fly in to Italy on transfer deadline day, but the duo never did as the Bulgarian striker transferred to Fulham from Manchester United instead. That has left Fiorentina wanting the money they spent on the airfare back, and they insist they will pursue making that happen.


Andrey Arshavin may be in a season-long fight for minutes at Arsenal, but it appears he prefers that than being a regular starter with Dinamo Moscow. Arshavin reportedly turned down a move to Dinamo Moscow on the Russian transfer deadline day even in spite of the fact that Arsenal was the one to make initial contact about the potential deal. Arshavin lost his starting spot with the Gunners last year, and he was subsequently loaned to Zenit St Petersburg.


What do you think of Nani possibly joining Zenit? Expecting Starikov to make an impact with Rostov? Does Fiorentina have an argument?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Kevin_Amold

    I’d never in my life heard of Axel Witsel before reading that he went to Zenit. Have I been asleep at the switch? Is this guy a star?


  • Judging Amy

    Too much money in Russian soccer. League is hard to find on tv. For purely selfish reasons wish the Russian league wasn’t becoming such a major player.


  • Andy

    Yes they finally saw all my #FreeStarikov tweets! Just kidding, but he really needs to get a permanent move away from Zenit. Too much depth, and too much money to bring in new players to really compete for a place there.

    He’ll be joining David Bentley. Tottenham’s record 17 million pound flop signing.


  • Kevin_Amold

    Seems to be a good player. I guess I’m too deep in the USMNT, MLS, Prem, and La Liga to pay enough attention to the other leagues.


  • Felix

    I’m curious to how good Starikov really is. I remember Bradley calling him up a couple of years ago, but he didn’t make the field.


  • CSD

    I hate Nani so I would love for him to go to Russia so I don’t have an option see him play in the EPL.


  • bird

    Witsel is a baller. He was with Gooch at Standard Liege so I used to stream their matches. He transferred out to Portugal, benfica I think, last year. That Standard team was a good side, Fellaini, Igor De Camargo, Witsel, Steven Defour and Milan Jovanovic all were on that side. Fellaini is with Everton, Camargo Borussia Monchengladbach, Defour Porto, Witsel Zenit now and Jovanovic went to Liverpool which didnt work and is now with Anderlect. And Gooch got a move to AC Milan overall that side really was stacked and were fun to watch.


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