Zenit Striker Artem Dzyuba Says Tottenham Made Contact over January Transfer

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2020

LISBON, PORTUGAL - DECEMBER 10: Artem Dzyuba of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League group G match between SL Benfica and Zenit St. Petersburg at Estadio da Luz on December 10, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Zenit St. Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba has said Tottenham Hotspur and Jose Mourinho made contact with his representatives during the January transfer window, but his club turned down the approach. 

Spurs were linked with a series of attackers after England captain Harry Kane tore his hamstring in January, with the frontman not expected to return to training until April at the earliest.

Dzyuba, 31, told Russia 24 (MailOnline's Jonathan Spencer) of Tottenham's recent interest in his signature: 

"Indeed, when Harry Kane at Tottenham broke down, people contacted me. From Jose Mourinho, as I understand it. But it was the New Year holidays, so Zenit said no. And that's all.

"If Tottenham really wanted me, then I think they would be more insistent. That said, the interest was really there."

The Spartak Moscow academy graduate has been consistent since joining Zenit in 2015. Dzyuba scored 38 times in 164 appearances for Spartak, but he's bagged 65 goals (along with 47 assists) in 165 outings for his current employers.

He was also prolific in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying and ended the campaign with nine goals, just three fewer than Tottenham talisman and top-scorer, Kane:

Roman Pavlyuchenko previously led Spurs' line between 2008 and 2012, the first and only Russian to have played for the club to date, per Transfermarkt.

Dzyuba leads the Russian Premier League with 11 goals to his name from 19 top-flight appearances this season. He's also recorded nine assists in that time.

The centre-forward is renowned for his hold-up play and would have provided Spurs with a tall, strong presence at the tip of their attack, something that's still lacking with Kane out of action.

Dzyuba also explained that agent Jorge Mendes was part of discussions regarding a potential move to Everton in the winter of 2019, hinting a move to the Premier League would be his preference if he leaves Zenit:

"They had a ready-made offer: Everton. I could not leave, because we were going for the championship. For me it was a cherished desire, because in Russia I had not won it yet. For me then it was important to stay.

"Frankly speaking, there was no specifics in the summer after the championship. There were other countries, but it was not from England...and that was a priority."

He was voted Russian Premier League Player of the Month for October 2019 and hopes to pick up from where he left off when the division resumes in late February:

Tottenham completed the signings of Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven and Gedson Fernandes on an 18-month loan from Benfica during the winter transfer window.

Mourinho has relied upon wingers Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son to help plug a void in attack during Kane's absence, a strategy that's worked thus far with Spurs now unbeaten in five.

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