Zhirkov checking out of Stamford Bridge

Chelsea defender Yuri Zhirkov is set to be the first high-profile exit of the Andre Villas-Boas era according to Sky Sports.

The Russian international has reportedly travelled to his homeland to discuss a move with Anzhi Makhachkala.

It’s been a torrid two years at Stamford Bridge for Zhirkov who has spent more time on the treatment table than the pitch since signing for £18 million.

Also capable of operating on the left of midfield, the Russian was never going to usurp first choice left back Ashley Cole.

He is now reportedly set to leave and sign for Anzhi in a £15 million deal after agreeing personal terms.

News of he 27-year-old’s impending transfer has delighted prospective team mate Rasim Tagirbekov who claims Zhirkov has already met and spoken to the players and manager at the club.

He said: “Of course, Yuri is a great player. Everybody in the team is very glad that he will join our club.

“This transfer will strengthen Anzhi a lot. Zhirkov has already managed to talk to the team’s head coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev and practically all the players.”

There has been no comment from Zhirkov regarding the transfer or the claim that he has already signed a four-year deal at the club.

He did however confirm that he was in Russian saying: “I have arrived for two days to spend my weekend here.”