Zenit claim Tottenham want Arshavin

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The Independent Football

Zenit St Petersburg have claimed Tottenham are in the race to sign Andrei Arshavin but need to increase their valuation of the Russia international.

Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane have told Spurs they wish to leave White Hart Lane, to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, and Arshavin would be seen as a replacement for the latter as a deep-lying striker.

Berbatov and Keane would be expected to raise more than £40million between them, and Arshavin is valued by his club at more than half of that amount following his eye-catching Euro 2008.

"With Tottenham we have contacts," said Zenit sporting director Konstantin Sarsaniya. "This English club is really interested in acquiring Andrei but, as I understand, 27 million Euros (£21.5m) is too high a price for them.

"For Spurs it is unacceptable. Tottenham are ready to pay in the region of 20 million Euros (£15.9m) for Arshavin."

Arshavin stated earlier in the summer that Barcelona would be his preferred destination but a move to the Catalan giants has not materialised so far.

Barca have already signed Alexander Hleb from Arsenal and are in the market for a striker as Samuel Eto'o is expected to leave the Nou Camp this summer.

Eto'o has been quoted in Italy stating Spurs are among the clubs looking at a bid but it is understood that interest in a potential move cooled earlier in the summer.

Spurs have also been linked with strikers Diego Milito and Roman Pavlyuchenko and want to sign England winger David Bentley, with Blackburn demanding more than £18million for their player.

Juande Ramos, Spurs' head coach, has signalled his plans for Steed Malbranque, Younes Kaboul, Teemu Tainio and Pascal Chimbonda by allowing the four to talk to Sunderland.

The rest of the squad have been put through their paces in Spain on a pre-season camp and will play Hercules CF in Alicante on Thursday.

"It's one of the hardest pre-seasons I've done," said midfielder Jermaine Jenas.