Why Chelsea's bid to sign Arsen Zakharyan has stalled

Zakharyan is on Chelsea's radar
Zakharyan is on Chelsea's radar / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Chelsea's bid to sign Dynamo Moscow midfielder Arsen Zakharyan has stalled over complications stemming from doing business with a Russian side, 90min understands.

Russian clubs are under strict financial sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, preventing Chelsea from simply handing over money to sign the highly rated 19-year-old. The Blues agreed to pay his release clause in the summer, which sits at around £14m, but have yet to find a way to complete a deal.

After failing to get a deal done in the summer, Chelsea resumed their attempts to finalise a move for Zakharyan in January but again encountered legal obstacles. Sources have now confirmed to 90min that the deal has stalled.

Chelsea had been in touch with a number of legal officials to try and find a way to recruit Zakharyan without breaching international law and the understanding is that they have so far failed to find a way to do so.

While the Blues have not yet given up hope of signing a player who has openly admitted his interest in moving to Stamford Bridge, a deal is seen as unlikely at this stage unless Chelsea can find a solution.

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Chelsea had suggested signing Zakharyan now and paying the fee further down the line when the sanctions are lifted, but amid uncertainty over just how long that could take, Dynamo Moscow have refused to agree those terms.

19-year-old Zakharyan has bagged three goals and six assists in all competitions this season, leaving Chelsea keen to make him the latest acquisition for their youth revolution.

The Blues signed a number of players aged 22 or under in January - Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez, David Datro Fofana, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto - and have also confirmed the arrival of academy striker Jimmy-Jay Morgan.

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