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Arshavin's pal Pogrebnyak says it's his dream to work with Arsene's Arsenal
Published : 12 May 2009 18:29:34Rss feed
Pavel Pogrebnyak is keen to move to Arsenal after being lined up as a replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor. The Russia striker, who struck up a fruitful partnership with Andrey Arshavin at Zenit St Petersburg, would jump at the chance to join his compatriot at the Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger feels the 25-year-old would ably step into Adebayor's shoes should the Togo striker leave for AC Milan this summer, according to reports. Pogrebnyak said: 'It is the first time I've heard about Arsenal's interest, but, of course, I'm pleased that the club is interested in me. 'I think that for any player to get the opportunity to work with Arsene Wenger would be a big step forward.' Pogrebnyak is said to be behind Blackburn's £20million striker Roque Santa Cruz in Wenger's summer transfer plans, but has the attraction of being cheaper. His contract runs out in November and, while Zenit are keen to renew his deal, the Russians have been tempted to cash in before rather than to lose him for nothing. The club's general manager Maxim Mitrofanov offered him to Blackburn in January but the clubs could not agree on a fee and the striker indicated he would only move to a top-four club in England. Arsenal fit the bill, though whether he is up to the standard is another matter. He scored against Manchester United in Zenit's UEFA Super Cup victory back in August and was the perfect target man for Arshavin to play off at the Petrovsky Stadium. But he is often left out for Roman Pavlyuchenko in the national team and many are not convinced he can make it at the highest level. He has scored 37 in 82 games for Zenit, while at international level his five goals in 14 caps is a reasonable return. It is understood that Pogrebnyak and Zenit are some way apart in their contract negotiations and the striker has stated several times that he wants to test himself abroad. However, he has assured the club he does not want to be distracted by transfer talk and haggling before the end of the Russian season in November, when he could move on a free. As well as Blackburn, Bolton and Everton have looked at him in the past, while Bayern Munich were also thought to be lining up a summer swoop. However, Bayern have indicated they will not follow up transfer enquiries until they have a new manager to replace Jurgen Klinsmann. Reports in Russia suggested that Guus Hiddink had recently told Chelsea to look at Pogrebnyak and Zenit midfielder Anatoliy Tymoschuk, the Ukraine captain. Tymoschuk is understood to have agreed a move to Bayern, but the deal is not signed and sealed.