Chelsea are ‘close’ to wrapping up a £12.5m move to sign Dynamo Moscow midfielder Arsen Zakharyan, though he must first agree to a very strange demand indeed, per reports. The Blues have conducted their arrivals on two fronts this summer. Part-owner, Todd Boehly, has pursued high profile targets who can make an immediate impact at Stamford Bridge. Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella all clearly fall into that category, though there’s a second set of additions.
It’s reported Dynamo Moscow’s Arsen Zakharyan, 19, has been the subject of a Chelsea bid. Russian outlet sport.ru claim it’s worth €15m (approx. £12.5m). What’s more, Zakharyan’s agent, Pavel Andreev, has confirmed not only the bid has been lodged, but that a deal is close to being finalised. But before the deal can cross the line, a curious report has emerged that stipulates what Chelsea first want Zakharyan to do.
Journalist Hrach Khachatryan tweeted ‘one of Chelsea’s requirements’ is that Zakharyan apply to change his citizenship from Russian to Armenian. Zakharyan has represented the Russian national side on four occasions, though is of Armenian descent. While not explicitly stated, it stands to reason the discontent surrounding all things Russian at present is behind the alleged demand.
In a subsequent tweet, Khachatryan added Zakharyan ‘will join’ Chelsea shortly, though could be loaned back to a Russian side for the remainder of the current campaign.