SportsFootball manager - on Zakharyan's path to Chelsea, the...

Football manager – on Zakharyan’s path to Chelsea, the collapse of Loko and the fate of the RPL


Alexander Manyakov, the well-known football manager and head of FM Sports Agency, discussed the latest trends in the Russian market, club transfer campaigns and the most high-profile passes of the summer, in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Turkey’s interest in RPL

– In your last speech, you said that in the new realities, the picture in the Russian transfer market will become clear by the summer. What does he see now?

– All my expectations coincided with reality. If you notice, almost all the legionnaires are scattered. It is clear what “Zenith” keeps its strangers. And “Spartak” could have lost the same Shamar Nicholson. I know he was literally sitting on his suitcases, but he never got a decent offer. As predicted, it became impossible for Russian players to go to Europe. Yeah, they didn’t really go there anyway.

– Artem Dziuba and Magomed Ozdoev were able to move to Turkey.

– Yes, but you have to remember how they were in Russia, but they did not move to the strongest Turkish teams. In any case, I positively appreciate their decision. In the current situation, that’s right. Both from a practical and sporting point of view. They proved everything in Russia. Now we have accepted a difficult challenge. Whether they will play there or not is another question.

– Will Turkey be a popular destination for Russian players who want to go to Europe?

– There will probably not be an avalanche-like effect. However, there are players in RPL that concern Turkey, including the Russians. The trend is already visible. More and more, I started getting questions that this or that club needed this or that position. Or trying to learn about someone in particular.

– Where else can Russian players go relatively easily now?

– Options in South America can be considered theoretically. I don’t really see anyone going there. I would like to note the Serbian championship, which has grown quite recently. Local top clubs – “Partizan” and “Crvena Zvezda” – have good conditions and play in European competitions.

– In this case, will Arsen Zakharyan be able to go to the best club in Europe?

– My guess is this: Now the people involved in his relocation to Europe are negotiating to change the citizenship to Armenian. Otherwise, I think there is no chance of transition.

“I don’t believe in 12 million euros for Beck Beck”

– Will CSKA be able to get money from West Ham for Nikola Vlašić?

– There are several options – contacting the CAS or FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber. Given the political situation, it is not necessary to rely on the fact that the implementation of the military will be quickly evaluated. There and so all processes are slow. It remains only to throw paper at them, talk. Now it will be very difficult for Russian clubs to find money for transfers. It all depends on the country, but there may be cases where the buyer refuses to pay.

– But “Locomotive” Alexis Beck managed to tie Beck to France for 12 million euros and even get the first slice.

– I don’t believe these numbers. They are exaggerated. Or there was no compensation. There are no idiots in Nice either. It was enough to give the manager one million and the player another two million so that he unilaterally terminated the contract or suspended the contract according to FIFA rule.

– What about additional deals offered to players not to suspend contracts?

– Nothing can prevent the player from ignoring this document. To a large extent, this is a moral move, but in reality such additional agreements are not a hindrance. Examples already exist.

– Didn’t the stories surprise you, as with Guillermo Varela?

– Stories are different stories. If you take the same Dynamo, there are examples of Fabian Balbuena, Sebastian Shimansky, Nikola Moro who honestly told the club: if there is an offer, we will leave. That’s right and masculine, sporty. Thus, “Dynamo” was respected. It’s better to go like this than to run away quietly.

“So it’s risky to rely on legionnaire loyalty now?”

– Yes. Admittedly, we have to bet on not bad financial conditions in Russia. But if a similar option comes up in another country, I’m sure it will be very difficult to retain any player. The only exception would be those who started a family in Russia, for example, Maciej Rybus.

“Africans can’t adapt”

– And where are the Russian clubs looking mainly to strengthen themselves?

– Everyone chooses markets, but it is clear that there are two main areas – the Balkans and South America. Maybe they pay more attention to the African market, but I wouldn’t recommend it. African players don’t get along very well with us. Especially if you buy directly from local championships.

– Has the problem of transferring money to their homeland, which is the biggest obstacle in front of legionnaires, been resolved?

– Yes, but every club is different. You can still make some payments. Gradually, the situation returned to normal, more or less understandable, working mechanisms began to emerge.

– What can confuse foreigners the most when moving to Russia now?

– Now they are very worried about the situation in Russia, and not about the financial conditions and methods of transferring money to their homeland. For example, they worry that at some point they will not be able to fly away.

– How would you rate the quality of players joining Russian clubs in the summer?

– If we take the big picture, it was much lower. But there are players who may appear in the RPL at more opportune times. We judge them all according to their names and outfits at the entrance, as they played in previous teams. This is just the first step. We point out that more high-profile players with a solid track record and reputation have come to us in the past.

– As expected, our clubs did not spend much money – 87 million euros for 265 newcomers. A solid amount by today’s standards? Is he talking about something?

– To be honest, I did not plunge into a deep analysis of this figure. As they say in football, look at the scoreboard. The main thing is that the amount is really small.

– At the same time, RPL clubs earn very little: Lokomotiv got the most in sales (13 million euros). And that’s at Beck Beck’s expense. Difficult to sell?

– Due to the sanctions packages and the general mood in the world community, almost no one wants to deal with our clubs. And why do business with the club and pay when you can persuade a player to suspend or terminate the contract?

“Balde’s situation is a joke”

– It is impossible not to ask about the most scandalous transfer of the summer – Keith Balde, who was immediately disqualified. What was the reaction to such news? What can explain what happened? Oversight of “Spartacus”? Cunning agents?

– In this case, there is only one consequence: When signing a player, it is necessary to carefully check all possible consequences. In world football, similar situations can be counted on the fingers. It’s not for me to find out who’s guilty, but this is an anecdotal case. As for the representative, he does his job, represents the interests of the client. After all, it’s his job. They did not pay due attention to the issue, did not check it again. However, you don’t come across situations like this often. Live and learn.

– How do you evaluate Balde’s transition without taking all these conditions into account?

– On the positive side, he is a good actor. Given the situation, this is a good job of the selection service. It was formless with “Zenith”, but it will gradually lead to optimal conditions. We have to wait for the spring, but until then all the legionnaires seem to have never left.

– How do you see what is happening on the “Locomotive”?

– I’m a student of the club, I passed the academy. That’s why it’s painful to look at what’s going on at Lokomotiv. With its corporate identity, the club is gradually sinking into the abyss. I have said many times that we have our own people, including those inside the system. There are Vadim Evseev, Dmitry Loskov, Oleg Pashinin. Status locked. If we talk about the choice of a coach, it will certainly not be worse with them.

Should we get rid of the Germans?

– It’s hard for me to decide, but I have only one indicator: We take the club’s budget and compare it with the place in the table.

– What do you think of the story of the Brazilian Pedro Gabriel and his name on the t-shirt (“Pedrinho” – ed.)?

– I don’t see any problems. In our culture, this particular word does not mean anything bad. Yes, you can laugh in the garden, but you still have to think, there is only harmony. If we position ourselves as a cultured country, it should not be treated that way.

“Best summer transfer – Utkin”

– There are two approaches to breeding this summer. Some decided to focus on Russian players or those with experience playing in the RPL. Others have been active in foreign markets. Which is closer to you and which is more effective in current realities?

I support the idea that our men should be trusted. Now is a great time for the development of football, there is a scattering of good players. The “Rostov” road looks optimal. Judging by the results, it is also effective.

– Is it already clear that the clubs are switching to local youth?

– Of course. This is not dogma as some clubs seek a foothold in overseas markets. But at the same time, some teams are already considering the Russians for positions that a foreigner would occupy a few years ago. I think this trend will continue.

– Whose transfer campaign did you like the most?

– Best impression left ‘Zenith’. Shop Cassiera and Rodrigao – straight to the point. Well-staffed “Rostov”. The defense is almost completely new, only Maxim Osipenko remained. Daniil Utkin and Egor Golenkov are performing well. I would also like to point out that CSKA, which is well known in South America, has developed good contacts there. Many players have come from there over the years and have taken root in the team. Good funds were allocated and Vladimir Fedotov, with whom we communicate well, is very meticulous in casting. He looks after exactly who he needs. And even without that, CSKA had a good roster, the same Fedor Chalov was revived.

– Is there a transfer that pleasantly surprised you?

– Utkin is in Rostov. As far as I know, he had no desire to return to Krasnodar. I am sure such a player would not interfere with any RPL club.

– Has the difference between “Zenith” and other clubs in terms of composition quality increased, decreased or remained the same?

– “Zenith” is still the strongest, there is no one next to him. Perhaps only CSKA at the expense of the organization. But Zenith has no rivals.

– How will the extension of the suspension period for clubs and teams from international tournaments affect the Russian market?

– I think football will be a completely domestic history. As for the departure of the players, no one can predict anything yet, first we need to survive until winter. The situation is such that you do not know whether we will play or not.

Source: Ria

With a passion for storytelling and reporting, I am an experienced writer and Editor with a focus on sports. As an Author at News Unrolled, I write engaging stories on the latest developments in the world of sports. My articles have been featured on numerous global media outlets and my work has been highly praised by renowned editors.


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