Zenit back Spalletti after Champions League exit
Luciano Spalletti's position as Zenit manger is secure, despite the team's failure to make the group stages of the Champions League, a club spokesman said on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported.
Zenit were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by French side Auxerre as they attempted to progress to the lucrative group round of Europe's most prestigious side.
"His contract is for four years," Yevgeny Gusev said, as quoted by the Sport Dyen Za Dnyem website. "He has only just started work. Yes, we got knocked out of the Champions League, but the club does not see this as a catastrophe and fully supports him."
Zenit have been one of the top spenders in Europe this summer, paying out 42 million euros to bring in a number of players, including 22 million euros for Portuguese international Bruno Alves.
However, Gusev said that the funds came from the sales of players like Andrey Arshavin, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Italina coach Spalletti joined Zenit in the close season. The club is currently top of the Russian Premier League with a four-point lead over Rubin Kazan, who have played two games more.