Soccer

Meulensteen out as coach of Russian club Anzhi

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MOSCOW (AP)

Rene Meulensteen is being replaced as coach of Russian team Anzhi Makhachkala little more than two weeks after he was appointed, the club's chairman said Wednesday.

Konstantin Remchukov also said that ''many expensive players'' will leave, but the club later insisted there was ''no discussion'' of a mass selloff.

Gadzhi Gadzhiev will take over from Meulensteen, Remchukov wrote on Twitter. He didn't elaborate on the circumstances of and the reasons for the departure of Meulensteen, a respected former first-team coach at Manchester United who succeeded Guus Hiddink in late July.

However, Remchukov also said that ''many expensive players will leave'' the club and that its budget will shrink to between $50 million and $70 million. According to Russian sports website Sports.ru, Anzhi's budget reached $180 million in 2012.

A club statement issued several hours later seemed to contradict Remchukov's words.

''There is no discussion of any kind of mass selling-off of the football players or of any other measures discussed in the media,'' the club said. ''The club will respect all of the contractual obligations of its players.''

But the club did say the team will in future ''be founded on long-term perspectives for the development of the club, which of course assumes certain changes in its team makeup.''

Owner Suleyman Kerimov pumped money into the team from his native Dagestan after purchasing the club in 2011, attracting foreign players and coaching talent. The team's players include former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward Samuel Eto'o.

In his series of Twitter messages, Remchukov didn't offer details on which and how many players might leave Anzhi.

The club's statement said that budget changes made necessary by UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations - which aim to stop clubs from spending more than they earn - ''will not contribute to any essential degradation of the team.''

The statement did not mention the status of the coach.

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