Arshavin in new link to Arsenal

Russian's visit to Emirates Stadium raises speculation but cash remains a barrier

The Russian international Andrei Arshavin has visited the Arsenal training ground and expressed a desire to join the club this month but the £22m fee demanded by Zenit St Petersburg is still proving a huge obstacle. Arshavin is understood to have visited in the same week that Spartak Moscow played Tottenham Hotspur in the Uefa Cup.

The Zenit playmaker, who shone for Russia in Euro 2008, had been touted around the top English clubs but the financial demands of his club have proved the stumbling block. The complications of dealing with various different interested parties in the player have also made a transfer difficult but Arsenal have still maintained their interest.

Arshavin, 27, whose domestic season with Zenit finished in November, was in London when Spartak played Spurs on 18 December. He is being represented by the Ukraine-based agent Dennis Lachter, who confirmed yesterday that there is still a long way to go in negotiations. It is understood that Arshavin was also offered to Spurs that week he was in England but they declined to take it any further.

Arsenal's new chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, recruited from Major League Soccer in America, starts work at the club this week and is pitched straight into a major international transfer. He will be assisted by the club's long-serving director Ken Friar. Arshavin's wages are already thought to around £70,000, at the high-end of what is paid in the Premier League.

If Arsenal spend anything like £20m on Arshavin, he would comfortably be the most expensive signing in the club's history. Jose Antonio Reyes cost around £11m in January 2004 and the whole deal was worth around £17m. As a player who can operate on the left wing or behind the striker he is not the holding midfielder many feel Arsène Wenger needs most. Wenger has often cautioned against buying players on the basis of a performance in an international tournament. Arshavin is also cup-tied for the Champions League.

Zenit, who finished sixth in the Russian league last season and are out of the Champions League, have been desperate to sell him. They held on to the player in the summer when his stock was highest after Euro 2008 because they had made the Champions League for the first time in their history. However, after beating Manchester United in the European Super Cup final they were poor in the Champions League and failed to get beyond the group stage.

Zenit's Dutch manager, Dick Advocaat, said that Arshavin would leave in January. "I am aware that Arsenal are interested but I don't know any more than that," he said. "However, I am expecting Arshavin to leave Zenit for another club. He is a top player and he could play for any team and any of the top teams in England, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool.

"He was voted player of the year by the sportswriters last season – and we know they know everything! Arshavin played well for us last season but he didn't play as well as he can. There is still more to come from him. In principle, I have already bought Arshavin's successor, Danny, because I thought Arshavin was going to leave last year."

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all