Back in the summer transfer window of 2009, in June particularly, there was a loud wave of excitement all around Stamford Bridge after several media outlets reported that Chelsea were getting so close to signing Yuri Zhirkov. The manager at Chelsea as at then, Guus Hiddink was the man in charge of orchestrating the transfer and was doing so after helping the Blues win the FA Cup.

Also being in charge of the Russian national team, Hiddink used his influence as leverage to help complete the transfer and sent a very clear message to the Blues owner Roman Abramovic to go all out and sign Russian attacker Zhirkov as he looked to assemble his own team that he believed was capable of challenging for major titles.

Zhirkov was 25 and a player at CSKA Moscow where he was making a name for himself and attracting interest from a host of European clubs. Hiddink asked Abramovic to make the move quickly so they could get the deal over the line before any other club would attempt to supper their plans.

The attacker, who burst onto the scene with a huge performance at the Euros 2008 was also given the Russian Ronaldinho as a nickname and everything was set for him to make his move to Chelsea, sending the Blues fans to a wild ecstasy.

The deal was eventually completed in July and Chelsea got their man for a fee reported to be in the region of £18 million. It looked like it was a bargain deal for Chelsea, but it was also a record-setting fee because it was the highest amount to be paid for a Russian player back then. The record is yet to be broken though.

But Zhirkov would end up spending two years at Chelsea that would be considered by many as a disaster judging by how much euphoria surrounded the move back then.

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