Alexander Medvedev: “The manager has a key role in building the team for the future”
The Zenit General Director on Sergei Semak's contract extension.
How long did negotiations last?
The negotiations began before the current pandemic, before we found ourselves in this extraordinary situation. This did interrupt the negotiations, but we are very pleased that we have been able to conclude them and agree a two-year deal with the one-year future option.
I wish to state that this contract extension applies only to the manager, due to the role he plays at the club. Regarding the rest of the team, the players and coaches, we will not be conducting any more negotiations, including for new players, until the end of the season, which is fast approaching, even without the supporters in attendance. The sooner we win the league, the sooner we can talk about signing players for next season. Because the window will be very small.
If we reach the Russian Cup final and our aim is to win it, then the break will be very short indeed. In August, a week later, the new season will begin. Of course, we are ready with all the details of potential new players that we may need. The market is rather quiet at the moment since everyone is concentrating on finishing the season and the transfer window will only open once the major leagues are completed.
What expectations do the club and Sergei Semak have from each other?
Zenit's goals are to always be top of the league and to do well in the UEFA Champions League. That may sound presumptuous, but our aim is to get a second star on the shirt by the time of the club's 100th anniversary, and although that may be ambitious, it's our real target. As for Europe, Zenit should not only play in the Champions League but also to qualify from the group stages. That aim is still there and we must prove that we are a club of among the top level in Europe.