NOVOGORSK, Russia, August 29 (R-Sport) – Dynamo Moscow continue to be the biggest customers at Anzhi Makhachkala's fire sale, acquiring through transfer on Thursday goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov, center-back Christopher Samba and winger Alexei Ionov.
Earlier this month, Dynamo signed away left-back Yuri Zhirkov, midfielder Igor Denisov and forward Alexander Kokorin from Anzhi, who are in the process of shedding high-salary players as part of a massive budget restructuring.
Former Blackburn Rovers player Samba, 29, moved to Russia in 2011 and quickly established himself as one of the top defenders in the Russian Premier League. The 6-foot-4 center-back returned to England in January, joining Queen’s Park Rangers, but after the club was relegated to the Championship, he returned to Anzhi, making five appearances this season and scoring against Dynamo in a 2-1 defeat last month.
“Everybody wants to win and I’m grateful to Dynamo that they gave me this opportunity to have that flame again, to strive to get victories,” Samba said at a press conference. “I had good time in Anzhi, but I’m looking for a better time here.”
Russian international goalkeeper Gabulov returns to Dynamo after leaving for Anzhi in August 2011. For the 29-year-old, this is his third tenure with Dynamo after a short stint in 2001 and a three-season stay from 2008-10. He said he is returning "with positive feelings, full of hope, expecting to achieve big victories."
Ionov, 24, moved from FC Kuban to Anzhi over the summer and only made six appearances for the team. He also played with Zenit St. Petersburg for five seasons, winning two Russian titles and the UEFA Cup in 2008.
In return for the troika, Dynamo is sending four players on loan to Dagestan. Left winger Alan Gatagov, right winger Vladimir Sobolev and forward Pavel Solomatin join Anzhi for the rest of the season, while center-back Alexandru Epureanu will stay in Makhachkala until the end of the year, when his Dynamo contract expires.
Gabulov, Samba and Ionov bring the number of summer signings for the billionaire Boris Rotenberg-backed Dynamo to 10.
Rotenberg, 56, has an estimated wealth of $1.4 billion and is part of a family of tycoons who made their money in banking and construction linked to oil and gas.
Dynamo have won two of six matches to start the Russian Premier League season and sit eighth in the table on nine points.