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Zenit St. Petersburg's general director has denied media speculation
Zenit St. Petersburg's general director has denied media speculation that the club will approach current AC Milan trainer Carlo Ancelotti if Dick Advocaat refuses to sign a new contract.

Dutch trainer Advocaat took over Zenit, then a spectacularly unsuccessful mid-table side, in the summer of July 2006. The following season he led the club to their first league title since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The club then went on to win the UEFA Cup and the Super Cup this year.

"I don't even want to comment on this because we are holding talks with Advocaat, and consider him the best man for the job," said Maxim Mitrofanov.

"We are not looking at other options," he added.

Mitrofanov also said that the club would like to sign a long-term contract with Advocaat, but that the Dutchman felt unable to commit himself for more than a year at a time.

Rumors in the Italian media said that Zenit, controlled by energy giants Gazprom, had offered Ancelotti a deal worth $13 million a year. The Italian has however said he is not interested in a move to Russia, stating that, "It's easy to say no to an offer that does not exist." Ancelotti's contract with AC Milan expires in 2010.

Zenit stars Andrei Arshavin, Pavel Pogrebnyak, and Anatoly Tymoschuk have all been linked with moves to European clubs in recent months, and Advocaat said recently that he would stay in St. Petersburg for one more season if the side's stars also remained at the club.

The trainer, who along with compatriot and national team coach Guus Hiddink has done much to turn around the fortunes of Russian soccer, is believed to currently earn around $4.5 million a year.

Zenit face Belarusian champions BATE Borisov in the Champions League in St. Petersburg on Tuesday in a match they must win to maintain any hope of making the play-off stages of Europe's most prestigious club tournament. Zenit narrowly lost their opening matches in their group - 1-0 to Juventus in Italy, and 2-1 at home to Real Madrid.


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