The first victim player to be thrown overboard could be Yuri Zhirkov. The Russian midfielder has already made it clear that if he fails to get first-team football soon, then he could start considering his options at Stamford Bridge.
Zhirkov played for Chelsea against Copenhagen on Tuesday night, coming on as an 85th minute substitute. But before that, he hadn’t played in over 3 months for the Blues. It doesn’t look promising for the 27 year old, and he may be asked to walk the plank.
Currently circling are Liverpool and QPR, who are apparently very interested in acquiring Zhirkov’s services. Kenny Dalglish is desperately trying to find some cover for the left-side of his midfield, and Zhrikov would fit the bill nicely. Championship leaders QPR have also thrown their hats into the ring, and are planning a move for Zhirkov should they gain promotion to the Premiership next season.
It’s no secret that QPR have the financial backing that some Premiership teams can only dream of and manager Neil Warnock has apparently targeted Zhirkov as being the perfect player if Rangers are to mount a serious Premiership campaign.
Quite how much it will take to win the race for Zhirkov is anyone’s guess. Chelsea paid £18 million for him from CSKA Moscow in July 2009, but it’s unlikely that they’ll recoup anywhere near that for a player who has only made 9 appearances this season.
Follow Peter Turner on Twitter @petermagpie
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