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Why Chelsea, Man Utd will hold back on bidding for CSKA Moscow star Alan Dzagoev

The Chelsea links are strong for CSKA Moscow star Alan Dzagoev.

The Russia international confessed an ambition to play in the Premier League in the future just days after being linked with Manchester United. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is also a fan and has known Dzagoev since he was a junior.

Russian football expert Kate Partridge, the sports anchor at Russia's RT, says Dzagoev lists Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard among his heroes and has long been influenced by Abramovich.

"He's a product of the Togliatti Football Academy, which is sponsored by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich," Partridge told tribalfootball.com. "This could have prompted the young playmaker to profess his admiration of the Blues from a young age and perhaps, in turn, their interest in him."

Any Premier League club willing to take a gamble on Dzagoev, however, will have to be patient with the midfielder.

Partridge explained: "The 21-year-old North Ossetian looks like a taller version of Lionel Messi, though arguably plays more like Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky. He is two-footed, has a burst of pace with intelligent link-up play and the ability to terrorise defences, though his contemplative style might initially prove to be slow in an English arena.

"He has enjoyed four years at CSKA where he is well paid, due to the quota system which says five Russian players must feature in the starting line-up. Consequently, his reported value of around 14 million dollars could only be afforded by a few clubs who would be taking a gamble on a less well known player and a Russian in a climate when the better known players are on the substitutes benches in the West."

As Partridge mentions, Russian players have struggled for regular first team football in England, which has drawn great criticism from pundits back home. Like Roman Pavlyuchenko at Tottenham and Everton's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Dzagoev isn't afraid of letting his feelings known if things don't go his way.

"The young Beslan native can be emotional and hot-tempered. In last year's Russian Cup final against second-tier Alania, coach Leonid Slutskiy substituted him after 65 minutes, when the score was 1-1. An angry Dzagoev responded disrespectfully, swearing at his manager," continued Partridge.

"His replacement was Keisuke Honda, who provided the assist for the Cup winning goal. Meanwhile, Slukskiy sent Dzagoev to train with the youth team, but Dzagoev apologised for his behaviour and returned to the senior team. However, despite that outburst, Dzagoev is also a modest man. Ossetians are generally religious people, and the young player has been spotted in a monastery."

For the moment, the likes of United, Chelsea - and Arsenal - are keeping a watching brief and yet to make formal contact with CSKA. Given the problems of those who went before him, it may take an exceptional run of form from Dzagoev to convince a major Premier League club to pull the trigger on him.

 West Brom mad, Kate Partridge is the sports anchor at Russia's RT and writes a weekly blog on the Premier League for rt.com. Click here for more.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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