MOSCOW (AP) -- Zenit St. Petersburg has announced it will sign Russia striker Artyom Dzyuba from Spartak Moscow on a free transfer when his current contract expires in the summer.
Dzyuba, 26, has been a Spartak player since childhood, except for loan spells and was the Russian Premier League's second-highest scorer last season with 17 goals while on loan at FC Rostov.
His move to Zenit went ahead despite opposition from Russian Sports Minister and former Zenit president Vitaly Mutko, who said he would prefer Dzyuba to stay at the club which developed him.
Dzyuba, who has scored twice in eight appearances for Russia, is rapidly becoming a key player for Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
He has scored seven goals in 14 games for Spartak this season.