Chelsea were close to finalizing an agreement to sign teenage super-prospect Arsen Zakharyan from Dynamo Moscow in the summer, but the complexities of the situation, especially in trying to arrange a transaction with a team under sanctions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, meant that a potential deal had to be put on hold.
The expectation was that we would figure out how to navigate the geopolitical considerations in the following months and be ready to deal in January. Zakharyan himself had repeatedly expressed similar expectations.
But if a report from PA Sports is to be believed, we’ve actually deprioritized this pursuit. It’s not clear exactly why we’ve done so, whether it had to do with the aforementioned problems, or if our since-installed player recruitment experts differ in their assessments, or if the young attacking midfielder’s not-quite-as-impressive 2022-23 season (3g+6a in 22 appearances so far, compared with 9g+9a in 34 last season) has put us off a bit.
Obviously we’re still keeping an eye on him — he’s still just 19 after all — but only from afar. For now.
Understand Chelsea won't move on Arsen Zakharyan during the transfer window. The club are still watching him and something could happen down the line, but the 19-year-old is not the priority he was in the summer before Russia sanctions put the deal on hold#Chelsea #ChelseaFC— Robert O'Connor (@robert_oconnor_) January 17, 2023