Zenit St. Petersburg names Luciano Spalletti new coach
Zenit St. Petersburg has appointed former AS Roma manager Luciano Spalletti as its new coach, the soccer club said Friday.
Spalletti was offered a three-year contract, the club said in a statement posted on its website. Financial details were not disclosed.
He replaces interim coach Anatoly Davydov, who led Zenit to third place in the 16-team Russian league this year with 54 points from 30 games, nine behind leader Rubin Kazan.
Zenit fired Dutchman Dick Advocaat in early August. Advocaat, now the coach of the Belgian national team, led Zenit to its first Russian league title in 2007 and won the UEFA Cup a year later.
"The new head coach's goal is to regain the domestic title, ensure success in European competitions and to establish a youth policy that leads to the emergence of new local players in the first team," the club statement said.
Spalletti resigned his Roma post in September after two losses to open the Serie A season. He was in his fifth season with the Italian club, having won two Italian Cups and one Italian Super Cup.
Roma was runner-up in Serie A in Spalletti's first three seasons, but the Giallorossi finished sixth last season and out of the Champions League places.
Spalletti was known to be unhappy with Roma's efforts to strengthen the side in the transfer market, and the club is still largely dependent on captain Francesco Totti, who turns 33 later this month.
Spalletti was named Italian soccer's coach of the year in 2006 and 2007.
Zenit, owned by Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom, is the richest club in the country.