Kerzhakov returns to Zenit after Hulk protest
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Kerzhakov (R) had led the Zenit rebellion to protest Hulk’s (L) high wages. EPA PhotoRussian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg said on Sept. 28 its star striker Alexander Kerzhakov was back in the squad after rebelling over the big money signing of Brazilian Hulk from Porto.
Kerzhakov had backed a revolt led by fellow Zenit Russian national team member Igor Denisov demanding new wage conditions after the signing of Hulk on a reported salary of $6.5 million a year.
The management of the team, sponsored by state gas giant Gazprom, reacted furiously and consigned the pair to the youth team. Italian manager Luciano Spalletti weighed in by saying Kerzhakov thinks “only about himself.”
But Zenit said in a statement that Kerzhakov had “had enough time to think things through” and approached Spalletti to ask for talks.
“Kerzhakov showed readiness to be at the disposal of the team and from now on he will continue work in the main squad,” it said.
There was no further information about the future of Denisov, who is still consigned to the youth squad and has been linked to a string of English Premier League clubs.
Kerzhakov could return to action on Sept. 29 when fifth Zenit tries to reverse its bad run of results against third-placed Lokomotiv Moscow, who has been rejuvenated under Croatian manager Slaven Bilic.