'Russian Ronaldinho' heading to Chelsea

CHELSEA will pay �15million for Russia international Yuri Zhirkov this summer. The CSKA Moscow playmaker - described as 'the Russian Ronaldinho' - has been recommended by temporary Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who also manages the Russian national side.

CHELSEA will pay �15million for Russia international Yuri Zhirkov this summer.

The CSKA Moscow playmaker - described as 'the Russian Ronaldinho' - has been recommended by temporary Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who also manages the Russian national side.

Hiddink has made Zhirkov, 25, the key man in the Russia team and has told Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich he is the player that could make the difference at Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich spoke with Zhirkov after he helped his side eliminate Aston Villa from the UEFA Cup in Moscow last month. And it is believed he is even willing to dip into his own pocket for the signing - something he has not done for two years.

CSKA manager Zico believes Zhirkov will become a star in English football. He said: “Zhirkov is a player of such high level, he would only show all his potential playing in such a strong competition as the English Premier League.

“He'd easily fit into Chelsea's first-choice team. I don't like to lose him but I won't stop his move to London.”

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CSKA want Everton's Steven Pienaar, 27, to replace Zhirkov and will bid �8m and offer the South African a �3m-a-year deal.

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