Spartak loans Napoli’s Maksimovic after injury to Dzhikiya

MOSCOW (AP) Spartak Moscow has signed Serbia defender Nikola Maksimovic on loan from Napoli as a replacement for the injured Georgy Dzhikiya.

Maksimovic will stay with the Russian champion until the end of the season as it tries to make up an eight-point gap to league leader Lokomotiv Moscow.

Maksimovic had been on the fringes of the Napoli squad, making just four appearances this season across all competitions. He’s played 20 times for Serbia.

His arrival in Russia comes a week after Spartak center back Dzhikiya tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during a friendly, putting him out for several months. The injury also makes it likely Dzhikiya won’t be able to represent Russia at the World Cup in June and July.