MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti)
Russia striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has joined English Premier League side Reading after receiving a British work permit, the club has said.
Pogrebnyak, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham, has signed a four-year contract after his deal with German side Stuttgart expired, allowing him to move on a free transfer.
“He is a top guy, his work ethic is excellent and I'm sure he will be very important to our group in the coming years,” Reading coach Brian McDermott said on the team website Thursday.
The forward, 28, is still resting after playing for Russia at Euro 2012, Reading said.
He made an instant impact at Fulham with five goals in his first three games but managed only one more goal after that as he notched up a total of 12 appearances for the London team.
Pogrebnyak has scored eight times in 33 appearances for Russia, and made a fleeting appearance as a substitute in the shock 1-0 defeat to Greece at Euro 2012.
Before joining Stuttgart, he won the Russian Premier League and UEFA Cup with Zenit St. Petersburg while playing alongside Andrei Arshavin, now at Arsenal.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).