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Talk away! Cherchesov happy to let Russia players discuss transfer matters

Stanislav Cherchesov says he will not forbid his Russia players from reading speculation about their futures.

The Confederations Cup hosts impressed with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand on Saturday with a number of players, most notably striker Fedor Smolov, catching the eye.

Smolov has been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund and midfielder Aleksandr Golovin is a reported target for Arsenal.

Most coaches would consider it an unnecessary distraction in an international tournament, but Cherchesov is happy for players to monitor news on their club futures.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's game against Portugal in Moscow, he said: "I don't want to limit them, they are free to read whatever they want.

"If someone is distracted then we will notice it.

"It would be strange if clubs weren't interested in our players. People are welcome to look at them and, if necessary, we can make suggestions. But [at the moment] we are focused on tomorrow."

Russia's win over the All Whites, and Portugal's 2-2 draw with Mexico, means a positive result at the Spartak Stadium will put Cherchesov's side in with an excellent chance of qualification for the semi-finals, but the former Legia Warsaw boss was refusing to get ahead of himself.

He said: "At these competitions, the third game is always the decisive one. We are focused on tomorrow, doing the maths is not a worthwhile exercise.

"Portugal are the European champions, a year ago they played such a big tournament and won it."

Cherchesov dismissed the suggestion the recent tax case surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo could distract the Real Madrid striker and potentially be an advantage to his side, adding: "It is a football press conference so I will stick to football.

"If someone is influenced by such things, who knows? We like to talk about football, everything else can be discussed by other media."