23:50, 17 December 2012
    Dietmar Beiersdorfer: "We have absolutely no policy of limiting our selection by origin or skin color"
    Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Zenit`s Director of Sports, explained that the club makes player quality its only principle when selecting players, and stated Zenit`s goals for the upcoming winter transfer campaign.

    — What are the plans of Zenit`s selection service for the upcoming transfer window?
    — In general it is very difficult to find good players with a reasonable relation between performance and price in the winter transfer window. Most of the players at our level are playing in Champions League or Europa League clubs, which either want to keep the players to reach their desired goal, or, in case they transfer the player, will mostly ask for transfer sums which are unrealistic. Nevertheless we try to get players signed whom we think are necessary for us to reach our targets.

    — Does Zenit have a policy of limiting its player selection based on skin color?
    — Our club`s goal is to win the Russian championship and to be highly competitive in international competitions as well. To reach these goals we need a team formed with players which we develop in our academy, as well as the best current and available players from Russia and abroad. We make our player selections without any limitation regarding origin, religion or skin color. We have absolutely no policy in Zenit of limiting our player selection in any superficial way!

    — Does Zenit have certain restrictions on the regions of the world where it looks for players?
    — Zenit as a big international club has to know all current top-level players and all promising young names who can reach the top level. Therefore it is vital to know all relevant markets where these players show up. The one and only restriction our club sets is the matter of quality.

    — What is the main transfer goal right now? To clearly strengthen the team with experienced players, or to take promising young players?
    — To be honest, it could be a mixture of both types of players. You need experienced players in certain positions. These players take responsibility on and off the pitch and are a part of the spine of the team. On the other hand you always need young players in your squad, which can put pressure on the older players and bring a certain freshness and impartiality to the team. But since we have a lot of experienced players in our team already, for sure we`re following the market of promising players very thoroughly.

    — In what particular positions does the team need to become stronger in your opinion and the opinion of Luciano Spalletti?
    — We`re all convinced that we, as a team, can play better, as we showed in a lot of matches. But to be a little bit more specific, we think that we had more problems defensively than offensively in the first half of the season. To be successful, you need balance in the whole team, in every part of the team. Our head coach had to find a different solution in the defensive line in almost every match due to a lot of injuries, absences and sometimes, admittedly, inconsistency in the players` shape as well. Therefore it was tough for our defensive line to radiate security out from the back to the rest of the team.

    — The press has been talking about various names, such as Boussoufa, Kokorin, Glushakov, and Arshavin. Can you say anything specific about these players?
    — We don`t discuss players who are not Zenit players. The only thing I can say is that all the players listed are very good players.

    — Is the club looking for a goalkeeper? After all, this position is one of the weakest in the team, considering that Malafeev doesn`t have a qualified replacement.
    — We`re following the goalkeeper market as well, because we have just one experienced goalkeeper left with Vyacheslav Malafeev, now that Yury Zhevnov is injured. We have to manage the risk in this situation.