Thursday, January 7, 2010

Andriy Voronin set to replace Aleksandr Kerzhakov at Dinamo Moskva

After a disappointing second half of the recent campaign that resulted them shut out of European competition with an eighth place finish, Dinamo Moskva are rumoured to be hot on the trail of Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin.

The thirty-year-old Odessa native, who has made stops with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Mainz, Köln and Bayer 04 Leverkusen before joining English Premier League side Liverpool in the summer of 2007, is widely accepted on his way out of Anfield. After a fine start with Liverpool his production waned and quickly saw his appearances dwindle. Following a loan spell back in the Germany last year with Hertha Berlin, he has yet to be a factor in Rafa Benítez's line-up after return to the English side. As Liverpool looks to build up its coffers to finance the acquisition of Maxi Rodriguez from Atlético Madrid, Andriy Voronin is rumoured to be available for the £1.5m.

Dinamo manager Andrey Kobelev is also dealing with the delicate issue of striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who many suspect has played his final match for the “White Blues”. The twenty-seven year-old Russian international contract expires next year and considered to be the target of Liverpool, Hamburg, Lokomotiv Moskva as well as returning to Zenit Saint Petersburg, where his professional career commenced. As Dinamo opened its training camp on Monday, it was without the striker, further raising speculation he is not returning to Dinamo. Speaking to Russian media outlet Sports Express, he noted, "Dinamo gave me a paper that I can train individually till January 15. That was the decision of the club and that is why I did not attend the first training."

Furthering speculation that he is headed to Luciano Spalletti's Zenit line-up he added:

"Actually I was ready to arrive in Moscow by the start of the trainings and even bought a ticket. I am in St. Petersburg at the moment. The negotiations about my transfer are on their way. Of course I know what is going on but I will not give the details. I think everything will be decided very soon. And at the same time I am not expecting the verdict with a sinking heart. The process of talks is normal and I am ready to accept any result."

Prepared by J. Davies