Zenit dangle £20m Arshavin in front of Arsenal

Zenit St Petersburg are optimistic that Arsenal will make a club record bid for Andrei Arshavin in the next few days. Arsène Wenger has money to spend after Arsenal made a £37m profit last season and, despite questioning Arshavin's physique as he dazzled at the Euro 2008, the Arsenal manager is understood to have highlighted him as the man to restore a creative zip to his faltering side. "The price tag for Arshavin is £20m, and we are hopeful that Arsenal will make such an offer soon," Zenit's general director Maxim Mitrofanov told Radio Echo Moskvy last night.

Arshavin has been given leave by Zenit to negotiate his own transfer and visited both Arsenal and Tottenham's training grounds last week before heading off on holiday with his family to the Dominican Republic. Zenit valued him at £23m in the summer, enough to end Spurs' interest but, having exited the Champions League, they are now keen to be shot of a player who has lost his focus.

"A professional cannot lack the desire to play when he walks on to the field," Arshavin said earlier this month. "I try and play for Zenit the best I can. But I repeatedly told the president of the club that I didn't want to remain in the side any longer. If they don't let me leave, I'll be listed as a Zenit player, but on paper only."

Given that he has been substituted in five of his last seven games, there are those who would argue that is already the case. The local Communist Party organisation condemned Arshavin last week for "displaying for sale his body for many months in front of covetous Western clubs", something, they said, causes "all Communists and patriots to feel shame and disgust".

Overblown as that criticism may be, Arshavin represents a gamble for Wenger. Although he was superb in helping Zenit to the Russian league title in 2007 and the Uefa Cup in May, it is generally accepted that it was problems with his temperament that made him a late developer, something that has only been highlighted by his recent loss of form.

Emmanuel Adebayor maintains that Arsenal "still have the chance to do something" in the title race despite slipping out of the top four of the Premier League. The Togo striker must now sit out the Gunners' next match, away to Aston Villa on Boxing Day, after he was sent off for a second caution during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

The 24-year-old and Wenger were heavily critical of the referee, Howard Webb, for the dismissal but the pair will not face action from the Football Association for their comments.

Adebayor insists Arsenal have shown they possess the character needed to force their way back into contention. "I can say it is a point gained because we were playing with 10 men for the last 30 minutes," he said. "We are not happy, but we can be pleased with the performance of the team. Every single player has shown character and that is what is good.

"We just have to keep going now and have shown that, even with 10, we can play good football and so with 11 we have a chance to win. Against Liverpool, you could say the referee took those two points away. We are still there and have to keep going. The title is still open for everyone to win it."

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits