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Dynamo St. Petersburg will not stand in David Blatt's way if the Israel coach wants to move on to Benetton Treviso, club president Vladimir Rodionov said yesterday.

"David has spoken with me and said that he wants to coach Benetton. We have decided not to stand in his way. Blatt had a wonderful season at St. Petersburg and brought us the Europe League trophy in his first year with the club. We thank him and wish him every success," Rodionov told the Russian daily Sport Express

Blatt has a year remaining on his contract with St. Petersburg, and Rodionov added that all that remained to sort out was the compensation it would receive from Benetton.

Sources at Benetton confirmed yesterday that Blatt was on his way to the club. "Blatt is our number one candidate," a top executive at the club told the Italian daily La Republica.

Benetton's outgoing coach, Ettore Messina, will reportedly receive 1.5 million euros a season on his three-year contract with CSKA Moscow, where he replaces Dusko Ivkovic.

If Blatt takes over at Benetton, he will have to find replacements for guard Massimo Bulleri, who has offers from Barcelona, CSKA and Milan, and center Dennis Marconato, who is also expected to leave the club.