Real Madrid and Zenit St Petersburg: Duel for Yarmolenko?

Mourinho keeps track of the Ukrainian striker, Andriy Yarmolenko. Rui Faria and Karanka traveled last Wednesday to see him in a friendly match of Ukraine against Norway, played at the Stadium of La Cartuja in Seville. Mourinho's two assistants were in the stands and lost no detail of the Dynamo Kiev player's actions (23 years old), who played the last European Championship and can play in any attacking position. And they had the opportunity to make a positive report: Ukraine won 2-0, Yarmolenko started the first goal play and then scored himself the second with a nice left-footed shot from the edge of the area. When the Ukrainian coach, Mikhail Fomenko, replaced him, Rui Faria and Karanka left the stadium.

Andriy Yarmolenko playing for Ukraine national team
Andriy Yarmolenko

Dynamo Kiev has a contract with Yarmolenko until 2015. According to Spanish media, the Ukrainian club has not yet received any offer from Real Madrid and has priced the player at 22 million euros. An amount of money Milan could not offer when the Italian team was negotiating his signing last summer as was revealed by the player's agent, Mikhail Gulordava: "The owner of Dinamo, Igor Surkis, rejected the proposal. He is very rich and has no need to sell. The offer must be very attractive."

Yarmolenko, meanwhile, yesterday moved to Dinamo Kiev's training camp in Marbella (Spain) and saw how his teammates lost 1-0 against Atletico Paranaense in a friendly match. Until March 3 he will not play an offcial match, when the Ukrainian League resumes with Dinamo Kiev playing against Kryvbas.

But money is not the only problem. Zenit St Petersburg, Russian champions, will fight with Real Madrid for the new Ukrainian soccer star, reported today the newspaper "Izvestia". The Russian team will try to sign Andriy Yarmolenko before the end of the transfer window in this country, on February 28. Otherwise, they will try when the season ends in Ukraine, because championship is now in winter recess.

The Italian Luciano Spalletti, Zenit's coach, manages a team that is third in the Russian Premier League five points behind leader, CSKA, despite having spent a hundred million euros in the signings of the Brazilian Hulk and the Belgian Witsel. A team that was also eliminated in the first phase of the European Champions League.

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