Russia captain Igor Denisov ended his self-imposed exile at Zenit St
Petersburg on Thursday and apologised to the club for his actions over a
was demoted to Zenit's reserve team in September after he refused to
play for the Russian champions and issued an ultimatum demanding his
contract be renegotiated.
was unhappy the wealthy club, bankrolled by Russian energy giant
Gazprom, had splashed out more than $100 million on Brazil striker Hulk
and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel just before the transfer deadline,
media reports said.
dispute coincided with a poor run by Zenit. They went on a five-game
winless streak in domestic and European competition, piling pressure on
coach Luciano Spalletti.
On Thursday the 28-year-old was allowed to rejoin the first-team squad after issuing an apology.
made a wrong decision... but it took time to understand it all," he was
quoted as saying by the club's website.
"I have a valid contract with the club and I must honour it... I grew up at Zenit and I want to help the club very much."
Zenit said: "The club's management has decided that Igor Denisov can train with the first team from November 1."
Spalletti said Denisov's return would not disrupt a "good atmosphere" within the team.
"I'm not going to tell you all the details, it's our own little secret," the Italian told reporters.
if you want to know something, I can tell you that when this whole
thing started Hulk came to me and said 'Coach, if I asked the management
would it help bring Denisov back?' This should tell you about the
atmosphere in our team."
The holding midfielder could make his first appearance for Zenit since September 14 in Friday's league game at home to Rostov.
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