Rubin’s feeble efforts in the transfer market: from rumours to actions

Estimating the first steps

In Russia winter transfer window is still open. Nevertheless, it is not very active. Undoubtedly, there are enough rumours. But nothing changes. It is clear that Kazan fans are interested in Rubin. Especially the new administration of the club promised to significantly strengthen the team in each line. This material of Realnoe Vremya tells about Rubin's feeble efforts and the team's needs on big football market.

What is a complete set of a football club? It is a providing a squad with players – two equal players for one position. It is obvious that the level of mastery of football players depends on the goals of a club. However, the abstract refers both to candidates for the title and outspoken outsiders.

Before switching to the estimation of the transfer rumours around Rubin, let's define the needs of the club of Kazan and remember the current assets under Valeriy Chaly. It should be stipulated that the goal of the strengthening of the positions of the team in the middle of the ranking till symbolic sixth position. It is apparent that for the fight for European Cups Rubin will need practically a new 'blood transfusion'.

At the coaching staff's disposal, there are even five goalkeepers with the duly doubted number one. Photo: Roman Khasaev

Surplus in goalkeepers and complete set of wing backs

Well, the goal-area line is complete, chock-full, so to speak. At the coaching staff's disposal, there are even five goalkeepers with the duly doubted number one: Ryzhikov, Nesterenko, Akmurzin, Filtsov and Haghighi. Rubin's management obviously should clear these heaps in the goal area, ideally, to three names. As practice shows, there is no point of having a large number of goalkeepers for a season.

The defensive wings after when Ustinov became well known in the football world does not need an urgent strengthening. As you can see, Kuzmin and Ustinov can play on the right side. The captain of the team is having his 'second heyday', while Ustinov is able to substitute him on a level. At Rubin, Elmir Nabiullin is supposed to be the boss on the left side. To the administration's credit, the attacks of the Russian football moneybags were successfully repulsed by the Stones, so the contract with Tatarstan's little star was prolonged till 2020. Besides, we will talk about this image operation later. And now we are speaking about his relief partner – Cotugno from Uruguay. This young defender demonstrated his abilities to the football community when Rinat Bilyaletdinov was at the helm of the team. Although Valeriy Chaly doesn't trust him, there is no doubt in Uruguayan's qualification.

There is nobody to play besides Kerkvelia and Kambolov

Ending the conversation about the complete set in defence, we approach the first serious problem in the 'roaster' of Rubin. The central axis of the defence simply cries for 'topping up the account'. Generally speaking, here there are only two players: Kverkvelia and Kambolov. What is more, the latter has a propensity for the midfield and, according to many specialists, he would be a beneficial midfield player for Kazan. There is another Uruguayan player who is warming the bench – Mauricio Lemos, who lost his playing time when the same 'Bill' was discharged. So, in force majeure situations Cotugno or Kuzmin may play in the centre, but there will be a serious quality loss. The defence line urgently needs at least one player, but it would be better to have two.

The central axis is simply crying for 'topping up the account'. Generally speaking, here there only two players – Kverkvelia and Kambolov. Photo: Roman Khasaev

'Bill' and Chaly's tactical models

Actually, Rubin doesn't have holding midfielders only. Kambolov has to play in defence, Kislyak is more a box-to-box midfielder. Rubin needs at least one player of the same role. Going up the central axis of the midfield of Kazan players, we see that here it is too far till the minimal requirements. It should be reminded that de facto Georgiev left Kazan or went to the first call-up of the national team (we'll talk about it further on). So, Valeriy Chaly has the following players in the centre of the field: Kislyak, Ozdoyev, Bilyaletdinov and Eduardo. It is necessary to specify that in the centre of the field the team forms an up-pointing triangle. In this scheme, Bilyaletdinov and Eduardo shouldn't be playing in the centre. Both classic half backs in attack are more useful in the scheme of a down-pointing triangle, where they should be situated. The second scheme was used by Rinat Bilyaletdinov, and Chaly decided to change it into a well-balanced variant.

Even if we don't take into account the technical niceties, four players are not enough for three positions. Yes, Rubin has 'ambitious juniors', but nobody has seen them on the field, except the coaches of the U-21 team. Taking into consideration rumours that Eduardo is going to Brazil or Germany, the administration of the club needs at least 4 players for the centre, including the defensive midfielder.

Backed up Karadeniz

Now we are in attack of the team. Left wing is meant to be complete according to the current ambitions of the club – Denis Tkachuk, 'young and perspective' 26-year-old half back on the wing appeared there. Gekdeniz Karadeniz is not young any more, and the tyro is able not only substitute the legend of the club but also to fight for a place in the first eleven.

Maksim Kanunnikov is the principal right winger of Rubin. He doesn't have a substitution. It could be possible to count on Karadeniz's universality, but he is already 35 years.

Maksim Kanunnikov is the principal right winger of Rubin. Photo: Roman Khasaev

Coaches destroyed Dyadyun's career

There is Dyadyun, whose career, in fact, was destroyed by coaches who foisted the position of the winger on him. In general, due to his capabilities, Dyadyun cannot play in attack. This ramming forward has neither explosive speed nor qualities for being a dispatch. And 'Dyadyun's feint' is well known on Youtube… Meanwhile, he was a ramming forward with Kurban Berdyev, scored many goals and scrambled for the ball. Dyadyun probably lacked the character to say a firm 'no' to the coaches, who persistently poked him to the wing. Kanunnikov also needs a relief-rival for the right wing in attack. In this season, Maksim himself is not the player who played with 'Bill' due to his irreplaceability.

Attack does not require ambulance

This winter the position of forward is mostly 'clickable' among Internet rumours around Rubin. But this position feels fine compared to the defence and midfield. Look, Marko Devich is fine. When Chaly became the head coach, the Serbian-born Ukrainian footballer flourished. He scored 8 goals in the first half of the season. Portnyagin will recover by the beginning of the spring part of the championship. Finally, there is Dyadyun who can be more useful on the attacking edge than Igor in case of careful use. It is clear that the attack is not ideal, but it not as 'leaky' as the centre of the midfield. That is to say, the 'treatment' of this position is not critical. Consequently, Rubin urgently needs two defensive midfielders, four midfielders (including a holding midfielder) and a right winger. Ideally, one forward is to be added to this list. What measures does the administration take in this situation?

Successful transfers:

  • Denis Tkachuk. Forward. (Zenit St. Petersburg). Transfer
  • Bobur Davlatov. Midfielder. Recalled from loan spell
  • Ruslan Galiakberov. Forward. Recalled from loan spell
  • Mikhail Petrolai. Midfielder. Recalled from loan spell

The first fully-fledged transfer of Rubin looks a bit lonely among the diversity of rumours. Zenit's left winger on the sidelines Denis Tkachuk came to Kazan. The 26-year-old half back appeared in Zenit last summer as a free agent from Krylia Sovetov. The most part of the season he passed in Zenit-2 in Football National League. He played only in 7 games during 7-10 minutes for the first eleven. Moreover, in Samara Denis demonstrated a high-quality football. We hope that his career in Kazan will reanimate.

Zenit's left winger on the sideline Denis Tkachuk came to Kazan. Photo:

The transfer was announced literally yesterday. Now the player is in the pre-seasonal preparation of Rubin in Portugal. Denis has already commented his transfer to the official page of the club of Kazan.

'Rubin has a great history. The team is progressing and full of ambitions. It is great to play on the stadium of the next FIFA WC. I acquainted with the city a bit – Kazan is very beautiful, I like it. I'm convinced that the transfer to Rubin is the right choice for my family and me,' said the novice.

Nabiullin: high noon

We told about three players who were recalled from a loan spell. However, it is not the level of Russian Football Premier League, and there was no more official deal. From the other side, there is positive news. Nabiullin will be in Kazan till 2020. It is an ideal variant for the current level of Rubin. Elmir is its pupil, he is young and can progress. Yes, 'the second season syndrome' did not skirt him. 'Nabi' in this season is not in a very good shape concerning the defensive functions. The nervousness in tackling and problems of the choice of the position are obvious. In this terms, the second part of the season will be decisive for Elmir. Is it the destiny of the country or is he just a good player who has the passport but can not to play?

On the way out?

The dessert of any fan is transfer rumours. What can make a club fan's heart beat more than possible deals of his or her favourite club? At Rubin, everything is in order here. It is gratifying to know that the rumours about strengthening the squad are more than about its weakening. We offer to estimate each rumour and its probability and expediency for the Stones.

The rumours about the central half back Magomed Ozdoyev's departure don't cease. Photo: Roman Khasaev

  • Magomed Ozdoyev (proposed to Zenit and Spartak)
    Probability: 65%
    Expediency: 0%
    Sad news in the first place. The rumours about the central half back Magomed Ozdoyev'sdeparture don't cease. At the beginning of the year, forecasts saw his future in Spartak, not in winter, but when the season ends. Having published an intriguing note in Twitter that his dream came true, the player himself added fuel to the fire. Then Ozdoyev opened a football school in Chechnya (we had written about it), and fans of Kazan optimistically linked this good deed with the sensational twit.

But now nobody cares about Spartak spirit. A more dangerous predator, Zenit from St. Petersburg, emerged. The whole country calls Zenit the head club of Rubin. According to Sportfact's data, Zenit's midfielder Aleksander Ryazantsev is about to return to Rubin. This 29-year-old football player will probably be a part of the deal between the clubs.

As the source states, Zenit wants to target the half back Magomed Ozdoyev whose transfer is estimated at €6-8m. The Blue-White-Sky Blues' Denis Tkachuk and Ryazantsev, in turn, might join Rubin. We will talk about Ryazantsev, but Tkachuk's transfer was carried out while Ozdoyev's hypothetic departure to Zenit this winter may turn into a real catastrophe. Valeriy Chaly, in fact, has nothing to use in the centre of the field, and the loss of the leading half back can be fatal. At the moment, apart from some rumours about the strengthening the central axis of the team, there is nothing, even when they refused Gergiev's services…

Blago was an irreplaceable link in the centre of the midfield when Bilyaletdinov was the coach and now when this function belongs to Chaly. Photo: Roman Khasaev

  • Blago Georgiev (Lokomotiv, Sidney, Slavia Sofia)
    Probability: 99%
    Expediency: 20%
    The most difficult thing in this situation is to understand the reaction of Kazan fan. Blago was an irreplaceable link in the centre of the midfield when Bilyaletdinov was the coach and now when this function belongs to Chaly. In this season the Bulgarian is not very good. But, taking into account the gigantic gaps in the complete set of the central axis of Rubin, there is nothing to be glad about. Who will play instead of Georgiev? There is a lack of players, and his contract expires at the end of the season. In this conditions, it would be better to keep the player till the end of the season as a sub at least. However, the administration of Rubin is not distinguished in the sequence of the decisions. So just remember an epic story when two unsuccessful attempts at finding a substitution for Chaly. We thought that in case of an unsuccessful search for new players of the same position, Blago might stay in Kazan. So, 1% goes to it.
  • Carlos Eduardo (Hoffenheim, a Brazilian club).
    Probability: 50%
    Expediency: 20%
    The estimation of this transfer totally correlates to Georgiev's situation. Such a transfer can be greeted if only there was a quality strengthening the centre.

Who will join?

It is time for transfer rumours that would strengthen Rubin. There is a great deal of them: from frankly funny ones to those that really cause an approval. And here we go:

Since November is a free agent. Photo:

  • Jose Adolfo Valencia, Forward, 24 year (Free agent. Last Club – Independiente).
    Probability: 65%
    Expediency: 10%
    According to the newspaper Sport-Express, Rubin is about to sign a contract with Jose Adolfo Valencia, a Columbian forward. Earlier it was said that Ufa was interested in this 24-year-old forward. But the South American guy refused to come to the Bashkirian club at the last moment.
    Since November Valencia is a free agent. Earlier he played in Santa Fe, Portland Timbers (USA), Olimpo, Rosario Central and Independiente (Argentina). In the latter club he scored only one goal in 9 matches. This statistics means he is not necessary for Rubin when it has Devich, Portnyagin and Dyadyun.
  • Sebastian Rincon, Forward, 22 years (Tigre).
    Probability: 25%
    Expediency: 0%
    As some federal mass media greedy for sensations, the forward Sebastian Rincon is close to being at Rubin. The same Sport-Express informs that this 22-year-old Columbian player can sign a contract with the club in the short run. The forward comes from the Argentinian Tigre. Last year he scored 4 goals in 26 matches of the Argentinian Championship. 'Forward's statistics tells its own tale. It should be noted that Sebastian is a son of the ex-forward of the national team of Columbia Freddy Rincon. It seems it is the main merit of him.
  • Mijo Caktas, Midfielder, 23 years (Hajduk).
    Probability: 50%
    Expediency: 85%
    And this rumour just shot in the eye. Mijo plays in a problematic position of Rubin – in the centre of the field. He is quite a young guy. In this season the Croatian scored 12 goals in 23 matches. In case of transfer, he is expected to be a real boon for the administration of Rubin.
    Meanwhile, according to the information on the Croatian portal, Hajduk is ready to sell Mijo Caktas to Kazan. The deal is in the final stage. The player just needs to sign the contract. The sum of the deal is €1m.

In the previous season Adi played in 39 matches for Portland and scored 18 goals. Photo:

  • Fanendo Adi. Forward, 25 years (Portland Timbers).
    Probability: 20%
    Expediency: 65%
    As states, the American club has already rejected the first €1,8m offer of Rubin. It is noted the club of MLS is going to get €3m, and Celtic (Scotland), Werder (Germany), Sporting (Portugal) and Shanghai (China) are interested in this player except Rubin.
    The Nigerian's statistics is good. In the previous season, Adi played in 39 matches for Portland and scored 18 goals. This is probably an example of a player who could strengthen the attack of Rubin. But the rivals in the fight for the player are serious. This is why the possibility of the signing is low.
  • Alexandre Pato. Forward, 26 years (São Paolo).
    Probability: 1%
    Expediency: 99%
    We all like the Internet because of its sense of humor. This time, the Italian portal Calciomercato made us smile. Kazan Rubin was interested in Alexandre Pato, a Brazilian forward from São Paolo, according to the news site not without fantasy. And it adds that apart from Kazan, Liverpool, Chelsea and Milan wanted to purchase him.
    Earlier the forward of São Paolo stated that he is going to leave the Brazilian club and continue his career in England or Spain. In this seasonPato played in 33 matches for São Paolo and put 10 balls into the net.
  • Aleksander Ryazantsev. Midfield, 29 years (Zenit).
    Probability: 70%
    Expediency: 99%
    We told about a 'plot' of St. Petersburg concerning Ozdoyev-Tkachuk-Ryazantsev. As far as Realnoe Vremya knows, there is a probability of purchase of the half back without such a complicated combination.

Ryazantsev had played in Rubin in 2006-2013 and became a two-time champion of Russia. Photo:

Ryazantsev is not delighted with the playing time in the club and ready to change it. In this season, the 29-year-old football player took part in 19 matches of the Blue-White-Sky Blues, scored one goal and had three assists. Ryazantsev had played at Rubin in 2006-2013 and became a two-time champion of Russia.

It should be noted that Ryazantsev is universal who successfully plays in the centre and right midfield – what Rubin needs. It is an opportunity to strengthen two problematic positions of Rubin at once. Aleksander also knows Kazan first-hand, and he is in a good shape, what is visible in his rare performances in Zenit with the naked eye.

  • Josip Pivaric. Defender, 26 years (Dinamo Zagreb).
    Probability: 10%
    Expediency: 80%
    At the end of 2015, informed that the defender of the national team of Croatia Josip Pivaric may go to Rubin. The qualification of the defender is not doubtful. There is only one problem: the administration of Rubin already refused these rumours, while the player himself said that Rubin offered him 'excellent conditions'.
    So, we will forget about 10% of probability of signing. Moreover, there are not other rumours about novices for the problematic position in the centre of the midfield.

No messages were noticed just about Kazan's 'interest' in midfielders and attackers. Photo:

Resuming all rumours, we will mention an anxious moment. No messages were noticed just about Kazan's 'interest' in midfielders and attackers. There are no doubts that the administration of the club understands the problems of Rubin in these positions. We hope that they will deal with defenders and holding midfielders and we continue to enjoy probably the most intriguing occurrence in modern football – transfer window and surrounding rumours.

By Artur Khalillulov