Smertin wants Russian return
Alexei Smertin has stated his intent to return to Russia, following his release by Fulham.
By James Appell
Last Updated: 03/09/08 9:42am
Former Fulham midfielder Alexei Smertin has stated his intent to return to Russia, following his release by the Craven Cottage side.
Speaking to Russian newspaper Sport Express, the former Russia captain explained that he plans to quit London for Moscow in the near future.
"I'm putting on hold all my affairs in London and will move to Moscow," Smertin told Sport Express.
"Basically I will fly in at the end of the week. I also need to resolve the issue of where I can keep up my fitness levels. But basically I'm now a free agent."
Smertin, who made 22 appearances for Fulham last year, was released from his contract at Craven Cottage after falling down the pecking order.
"Head coach Roy Hodgson is making a new team, in which unfortunately there is no place for me," the Russian commented.
"In this situation it was decided that the best option both for me and the club was to part company. I want to emphasise that this was a mutual decision."
Smertin was linked with a deadline day move to Cardiff City, but explained why he decided not to move to the Championship club.
"Actually I only heard about the Cardiff offer on 1st September, and even then only from friends. The local newspapers wrote that I could be sent on loan to the Welsh side.
"Even if I had had time to look at the details of the move - and I was only given these at the last minute - I would still have refused. The idea of spending the season in the Championship doesn't interest me at all."
Asked if it was likely that he would continue his career at a Russian Premier League club, Smertin replied: "Yes, it's very possible. Basically, as regards the continuation of my career, I feel positive and am looking to the future with optimism."