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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Hiddink: I'm not just here for money

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Guus Hiddink maintains he took charge of Anzhi Makhachkala for the project rather than the money and suggested he may remain at the club beyond this summer.

Anzhi first made the headlines two years ago when Suleyman Kerimov took control of the club and announced the signing of Brazil legend Roberto Carlos.

Since that time, the Dagestan club - founded in 1991 - have brought in several high-profile stars, most notably Samuel Eto'o, who joined from Inter Milan for €27 million in August 2011. In the last transfer window, the club paid a reported €35 million to sign Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Hiddink, who took charge in February last year and has led the club into the knockout rounds of this season's Europa League, said in an interview with kicker that he is relishing the chance to transform the club.

"I am not just here for the money," he said. "I wanted to start something, to build something serious, to create a modern club."

The 66-year-old's contract is set to expire in the summer, but he has indicated that he would be willing to stay on longer.

"Let's see what happens until the end of the season," he said. "It looks pretty good right now. I'm having fun here."

Hiddink is pleased with the changes currently taking place at the club. Anzhi currently play some of their home games two hours away from their Dagestan base, but he said: "A new arena is being built in Makhachkala, so we can play at home all the time."

Anzhi are also building a youth academy, and the former Netherlands coach is being given the chance to shape the club as he pleases.

"I took care to ensure that two Dutch coaches were hired," he said. "I am looking to provide a blend of experienced pros and young Russian players. That's the only way we can establish ourselves at the top. My new philosophy is fully accepted by Suleyman Kerimov."

Hiddink said Willian - who had also been courted by Chelsea and Tottenham - was an ideal fit, despite his seemingly exorbitant cost.

"I won't comment any numbers," he said. "Willian is only 24 years old, an outstanding footballer who perfectly fits into our concept. That class acts like him cost some money is normal."

There has been no interest in Real Madrid midfielder Kaka, though.

"That was never an issue," he said. "It is like a reflex. Everyone believes we throw money around."

Hiddink also lamented the loss of Christopher Samba, who joined Queens Park Rangers last month after the English club made what one Anzhi director felt was a ludicrously generous offer.

"QPR turned his head around," Hiddink said.

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