Cesc Fabregas loss would be 'enormous' says Andrey Arshavin

Andrey Arshavin admits it would be an "enormous" loss for Arsenal to see captain Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leave, but insists focus must remain on ending the Gunners' trophy drought.

Barcelona are looking to complete the transfer of their former trainee before the new Barclays Premier League starts this weekend, but Arsenal remain steadfast in a £40million valuation.

France international Nasri has yet to agree a contract extension with Manchester City ready to offer £22m for the midfielder, who could leave on a free next summer.

Arshavin, part of the Russia squad for today's friendly against Serbia in Moscow, accepts there is little any club can do when a player has his heart set on a move away.

"The policy of our club [next season] is the same, but it is difficult to say anything specific now, not least from the fact that two leading players, Cesc and Samir, have not decided their future," Arshavin said in an interview with Russian newspaper Sport Express.

"The loss of any one of them would be enormous, and we naturally want to see Cesc and Samir play with us in the future - but if the player wants to leave the club....

"It is hard to say [whether they will stay]."

Arshavin, however, rejected suggestions he was set to leave Emirates Stadium, reports having linked the former Zenit St Petersburg winger with a move to Anzhi Makhachkala, who are bankrolled by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov, captained by former Brazil World Cup winner Roberto Carlos and recently signed Yuri Zhirkov from Chelsea.

"I have already said that this season I am sure to be at Arsenal, and not somewhere else," added Arshavin, 30, who signed for the Gunners in January 2009.

"If I ever return to Russia, then the priority option for me will be Zenit - but no-one can predict what will happen to you in the future, in a few years or even a season. As the saying goes: if you want to make God laugh - tell him about your plans for tomorrow."

With or without key men Fabregas and Nasri, Arshavin accepts Arsenal will face a testing campaign ahead as they look to remain competitive.

"The season will very difficult. I think that six teams will challenge for the top spot," he said.

"The main thing, though, is to win any title with Arsenal."

Like most Premier League sides, the Gunners have plenty of their first-team squad away on international duty.

Ahead of Saturday's trip to Newcastle, which could yet be postponed due to the civil unrest currently sweeping across the country, Arsenal will check on the fitness of midfielder Jack Wilshere, who was forced to pull out of the England squad because of an ankle problem.

Winger Theo Walcott looks set to be short for the trip to the north-east, while striker Robin van Persie is also nursing a sore ankle.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is understood to have been less than impressed by Nasri's involvement with France this week after the midfielder sat out Arsenal's final friendly in Benfica because of a muscular problem.

Wenger is determined to further bolster his squad following the £12million arrival of pacy forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton.

Defensive reinforcements are top of the agenda, with a £6million move for Birmingham's centre-half Scott Dann said to be imminent after Arsenal failed to complete a deal for Everton's Phil Jagielka or Gary Cahill from Bolton.

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, linked with Stoke, has yet to find a new club, while utility man Emmanuel Eboue is expected to sign for Galatasaray.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us