Arsen Zakharyan’s impending transfer from Dynamo Moscow to Chelsea has been blocked by British sanctions on Russia, despite the two clubs agreeing a fee.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were expected to boost their midfield with the signing of the 19-year-old Russian star.
Chelsea had activated the midfielder’s £12.6m release clause, with Zakharyan seen as one of Russia’s most talented young players.
However, Dynamo have revealed that the move was blocked due to the sanctions Britain has placed on Russia in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine, with the issue arising due to the need to transfer funds to a club in Russia.
Under the terms of the British sanctions on the economy in Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Chelsea may have struggled to pay for the transfer, given the money would be going to a club in the country.
It would have also been difficult for Zakharyan to be given a work permit, which is a matter for the British Home Office.
FIFA’s rules on signing Russian players during the war added another layer of complication to the potential deal.
In a statement on their club website, Dynamo said:
On August 25 we received an offer from Chelsea for Arsen Zakharyan.
For several days, there have been intense negotiations between Dynamo and Chelsea, in which our club took a constructive position.
However, it is not possible to transfer a player in this summer transfer window for a number of technical reasons beyond our control.
The issue was confirmed by renowned agent Rafaela Pimenta who told Sport Express:
Today, it is impossible to close the transfer of Zakharyan in the summer transfer window.
This transfer is not frozen until winter, but it is possible. Now we are still working to ensure that Dinamo can get money from Chelsea.
Zakharyan scored nine goals and registered nine assists in 34 appearances for Dynamo last season, and has already been linked with a number of high-profile clubs.
The move for the Russian star comes as part of the ‘Vision 2030’ strategy that the new owners, led by Todd Boehly, have bought into.