Kerzhakov in Zenit squad after salary spat

Zenit St Petersburg says its star striker Alexander Kerzhakov is 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 top flight action on Saturday when fifth-placed Zenit tries and reverses its bad run of results against third-placed Lokomotiv Moscow, who has been rejuvenated this season under Croatian manager Slaven Bilic.

Denisov has been named to play for the youth side at the weekend, in a sign his spat with management is far from over. Manchester United and Liverpool are among the sides reportedly keeping a keen eye on the midfielder's situation.

Source AFP