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Barcelona proved their class to win back the Champions League after beating Man Utd in the final, but can they become the first team to defend the title?

Chelsea are reported to have agreed a deal to sign Russian international Yuri Zhirkov for £18.6million.

One of Zhirkov’s representatives is quoted in Russia as stating that the CKSA Moscow man has already put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal.

It is believed that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich personally arranged the deal with CSKA owner, and close friend, Evgeny Giner.

Chelsea’s stand-in boss Guus Hiddink, who is leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer, has fully backed the move for a player who can play at left-back or further forward as a winger.

Hiddink feels Zhirkov is a huge talent, saying: “I know that Yuri is not just a nice person but one of the best attacking left sided players in the world.”

CSKA coach Zico admitted he would fit in well at Stamford Bridge.

“I will not stand in the way of this transfer,” said Zico earlier this month.

“A player of Zhirkov’s quality could very well play in the English Premier League.

“I see him as a player in the London club’s starting XI.”

Barcelona proved their class to win back the Champions League after beating Man Utd in the final, but can they become the first team to defend the title?

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