Zhirkov: I want to sign for Barcelona

CSKA Moscow winger Yuri Zhirkov has denied he has agreed to join Chelsea, and instead says he would rather join Barcelona. The 25-year-old has long been linked with a move to the Roman Abramovich-owned Blues during the close-season, with former coach Guus Hiddink reported to have instructed the Russian to splash out on the player to boost the Stamford Bridge side's squad.

Liverpool chief Rafael Benitez was also thought to be pondering a move for the highly-rated left-sided player - dubbed the 'Russian Ronaldinho' - who impressed in Russia's run to the semi-finals of Euro 2008.

While Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin recommended his fellow countryman to the Gunners, whose fans are hopeful of several experienced heads arriving at the Emirates Stadium this summer to compliment a squad awash with talented starlets. However, Zhirkov is adament he remains a CSKA player, and has now revealed he has no interested in joining the Premier League at all, saying he wants to sign for European Cup winners Barcelona. “Several weeks have gone since those rumours came out and I’m still at CSKA," he said. “My team is Barcelona and that is where I want to play. I have been a Barcelona fan since I was very young and they have a great team.” NEWS: Zhirkov: I know nothing of Chelsea deal NEWS: Chelsea closing in on Zhirkov NEWS: Arshavin - Arsenal should sign Russian Ronaldinho

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