Chelsea appear to be finalizing the signing of yet another highly talented teenage prospect, with 19-year-old Arsen Zakharyan set to join on a €15m transfer from Dynamo Moscow.
As reported last summer, when Chelsea were first linked, that figure may in fact be a release clause, which could explain how this deal seems to be getting done so quickly and so efficiently — even though it involves a team from the Russian Premier League. But evidently that’s not a problem?*
Local reporting appears to confirm said fee and structure, while a brief quote from Zakharyan’s agent, Pavel Andreev declares that things are indeed close. Andreev’s said to be working with Rafaela Pimenta (i.e. the new Mino Raiola) to make this all happen.
“This is true. Everything is close.”
-Pavel Andreev; source: RB Sport via Sports.ru
Zakharyan indeed looks excellent in his highlight videos, but of course everyone looks great in their highlight videos. He lived up to his hype in his first full professional season last year, and has 4 caps for his national team already as well.
* Dynamo used to be majority owned by VTB Bank, who were sanctioned by the UK and the EU following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. In the wake of those sanctions, the club were essentially given back to the Dynamo Sports Society, who must not be a state organization now unlike back in the Soviet days.
That said, I’m sure we looked up the relevant rules and regulations before deciding to enter into these negotiations. For example, the release clause was (presumably) built into the contract Zakharyan signed 18 months ago, in January 2021, before the war, which may be a factor.
We’re not the first non-Russian team to do business with a Russian Premier League team this summer, though we’re one of the very few to actually do a deal involving a transfer fee. OGC Nice signed Alexis Beka Beka from Lokomotiv earlier this month, but the majority of such moves involved canceled or suspended contracts, such as Jordan Larsson and Alex Král, respectively, joining Schalke 04 from Spartak.
Russian Premier League teams remain banned from European competitions by UEFA, with FIFA following suit at the international level.