FORMER Blackburn Rovers defender Chris Samba has completed his move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old handed in a transfer request in January and has not played for Rovers since their 2-1 defeat by Stoke at the start of last month.
“I see it [the move] as a new challenge,” Samba told Sky Sports News.
Samba joins a growing list of star names signed by the club since billionaire Suleyman Kerimov became owner in January 2011.
Since then, they have named Guus Hiddink as manager and snapped up players such as Brazil World Cup 2002 winner Roberto Carlos, Chelsea full-back Yuri Zhirkov and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o .
The France-born centre-back joined Rovers in 2007 from Hertha Berlin and made 184 appearances for the Premier League outfit in all competitions, scoring 18 goals. He will wear the number 22 shirt at Anzhi.
Anzhi are currently in seventh place in the Russian Premier League. Samba’s first league fixture could be on March 5 against Dynamo Moscow when the season recommences after the winter break.