FC Anzhi Makhachkala has openly added two more EPL targets to their wish list for the winter transfer window. Robin van Persie and Nicolas Anelka have been named as targets as Anzhi look to acquire more talent to create a squad that will challenge in the Champions League in two-years time.
So how has a club that finished 11th out of 16 teams last year in the Russian Premier League, suddenly have the audacity and resources to think they can be there in 2 years? Well, they have billions of reasons.
In January of 2011, Russian billionaire, Suleyman Kerimov, made the purchase of this club, and seemingly overnight Anzhi was being linked with the top players all around the globe. Their first major international signing Roberto Carlos, who is now player/captain/manager, had this to say about these potential signings:
“Anelka is not the only player. Nene from PSG and Van Persie from Arsenal are players we are following. And Neymar? I talked to him. If Real, Barca or Manchester United cannot pay the transfer fee, we will pay it. Suleyman Kerimov can offer what he wants.”
Kerimov is willing to splash the cash without hesitation in hopes to draw as many big names to the side as possible. Links have also been made with Cristiano Ronaldo, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, as well as high profile manager, Fabio Capello to lead the squad. Carlos added:
“We want to make a club the caliber of Real or Barca. We have the potential to have a strong team. We are already the best team in Russia and I am serious when I say that.”
It’s hard to call yourself the “best team in Russia” while you sit 8th in the table 12 points off the lead with 4 matches remaining. But as we all know, and have witnessed, money talks, and it may be impossible to turn down a potential £300,000 a-week payday. With Anzhi being linked in the papers with so many different players, and them actually convincing Samuel Eto’o to make the move from Inter Milan, there is a high likely hood that we may see some Premier League stars make the move.
The only downside to make a multimillion dollar move to FC Anzhi? You live in Makhachkala:
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