Arshavin's heart set on 'dream' transfer to Barcelona

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The Independent Football

Andrei Arshavin insists a move to Barcelona is his top priority as speculation over his future continues in the wake of his displays for Russia at Euro 2008.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Milan are just a few of the clubs reportedly interested in the Zenit St Petersburg playmaker, but the 27-year-old maintains he has his heart set on a move to the Nou Camp. "My dream is Barça," Arshavin said. "But to say that isn't new. The whole world knows that I have dreamed forever about going to Barça. Messi, Arshavin, Henry? Messi is very, very good and to play with him must be a marvel, and the same goes for Henry. What more can I say? I would love it.

"Barça is a team that can win 7-0 or lose 4-3 because their style of football is going on the attack. As long as I remember it's been like that and all that fills me with enthusiasm.

"For that reason I've followed Barça closely for a long time." Barcelona have had a bid for Arshavin knocked back and are believed to have been put off by Zenit's €30m [£24m] asking price. Barça's capture of Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb yesterday has concerned the Russian, who fears the Nou Camp kitty could dry up in the wake of their fifth purchase of the summer.

"If they have signed Hleb, I don't know if they still want me," he said. "We are distinct, of course. I know that. But do Barça have more money to sign me? I hope that they call me, that they sign me. But Zenit are asking for quite a lot of money." He added: "I don't know if I'm going to London but I have made my desires very clear."