Zenit forward Artem Dzyuba has spoken out about speculation linking him to Everton, claiming he had been aware of the club’s interest.

It was reported a few days ago that Everton had been scouting Dzyuba during the international break, as the striker featured for Russia against Scotland.

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Everton were one of three clubs watching the 31-year and were said to have left the game impressed with the Russian’s performance.

Addressing claims of Everton’s interest in his services, Dzyuba has now spoken to Sport24 (via Sport Witness) and explained that he knew about Everton’s interest in the past, and he chose then not to leave the Russian Premier League. Dzyuba said:

I signed a contract with Jorge Mendes and his company. Back in the winter transfer window, there was a chance for me to leave Zenit.

I understand Everton were interested in my services. But I didn’t want to leave.

Back then, we had a chance to win the Russian Superleague title, and we did so. So, I can say that I did the right thing.

In the summer, I also hoped something would happen, but it didn’t. There were just talks, so I am now at Zenit and I am very pleased with that.

Dzyuba has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League in the past, and with the player now admitting Everton’s long standing interest in the forward, could they look to pull off a move in January?

Read Everton Verdict

I don’t think there is any way Dzyuba could sign for Everton at this point. In regards to the Russian’s play style, he is the opposite to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Moise Kean, and Silva appears to prefer utilising a system that better suits one of the young duo.

If Silva did want to vary his tactics and use an approach more suited to a physically assertive target man, then Cenk Tosun is the go-to as things stands. Theoretically, Everton could move Tosun on and bring Dzyuba in, but I don’t see them doing that personally, particularly considering his age, 31.

Dzyuba seems like a player Everton might have chased after two years ago, but I’d be surprised if anything went ahead now.