Zenit reject Barcelona offer for Arshavin

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The Independent Football

Zenit St Petersburg have rejected a 15 million euro (£12m) offer from Barcelona for playmaker Andrei Arshavin, the Russian champions said on Monday.

"Barcelona had failed to improve their original offer of 15 million euros, thus we decided to end our negotiations with the Spanish club," Zenit said on their Web site www.fc-zenit.ru.

"We have not received any offers for Arshavin from any other clubs, therefore there are no discussions going on about his transfer."

Last week, Zenit offered to extend Arshavin's current deal by two more years until 2012.

Zenit have given the 27-year-old, who reportedly earns three million euros a year, more than any other player in Russia, two weeks to decide his future.

Arshavin did not play in a 5-1 win over Siberian side Tomsk on Sunday, Zenit's first Russian premier league match after the seven-week break for Euro 2008.

Zenit's Dutch coach Dick Advocaat said he would not use his top player until he makes up his mind.

The Russia international has said on several occasions that he wanted to move abroad, Barcelona being his first choice.

After missing Russia's first two Euro 2008 games through suspension, Arshavin returned to lead them to the semi-finals, the country's best showing at a major championship since 1988.