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Yury Zhirkov signs for Chelsea


Chelsea have signed Russian international Yury Zhirkov, club manager Carlo Ancelotti said on Monday.

Ancelotti confirmed that the signing had gone through at a press conference at Stamford Bridge on the first day of pre-season training.

Zhirkov, 25, flew into London on Sunday to put the final touches to an 18 million-pound ($29.8 million) move to the west London club.

Reports in the Russian media had earlier said that Zhirkov had been excused from the first week of pre-season training, devoted exclusively to fitness, as the Russian season was already in full flow.

"I`ll do my medical at Chelsea and come back. I don`t know if it will take place on Monday or not. I`ll arrive in London and they`ll tell me what to do, where to go," the CSKA player told Sport Express before leaving on Sunday, adding that, "I`m not worried about things at all."

Zhirkov also promised to brush up on his English.

"I`ll have to get the study books out," he said.

Former Manchester United star and Russian and Soviet international Andrei Kanchelskis told the paper that he believed Zhirkov could be as successful as Arsenal forward and compatriot Andrei Arshavin in England.

"He could do as well as Arshavin. He`s certainly got the talent," Kanchelskis said.

The attacking left-sided midfielder or defender has been an integral part of CSKA`s and Russia`s success over the past few years, scoring the second goal in the former Red Army club`s 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the 2005 UEFA Cup final and starting every game in Russia`s run to the semifinals of Euro 2008.

He was recommended to the club by Russian national coach Guus Hiddink, who managed Chelsea from February to the end of the 2008/2009 season.

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