MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti)
Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Vedran Corluka isn't at Lokomotiv Moscow to team up with countryman and coach Slaven Bilic but to develop as a player, Bilic said Wednesday.
Corluka switched to Lokomotiv on a three-year deal in June, becoming the Russian side's first signing since his national team coach Bilic was named as manager in May.
Bilic led Croatia to Euro 2012, where his team was eliminated from the group stage.
"Corluka is at Lokomotiv absolutely not because he is a Croat and I am a Croat," Bilic said. "And it is not that he was playing under my command in the national team. It is that he is a professional."
"Corluka's arrival to Russia coincided with several useful factors: This experience is necessary to him and he needed a team."
Corluka's English experience will help Lokomotiv put up a tougher fight for the title this year, Bilic added.
Corluka, 26, made 81 appearances for Tottenham since joining in 2008 but after losing out on a first-team place to Kyle Walker, he spent the latter half of last season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen.
Lokomotiv finished seventh in the league in 2011-12 and failed to qualify for European competition, suffering five defeats and three draws in their last eight games, which saw the Portuguese coach Jose Couceiro lose his job.
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