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Zenit and Arsenal re-open Arshavin talks as Russians fear clock is ticking

28 January 2009 08:38
Arsenal

and Zenit St Petersburg reopened talks this morning as the Russians feared time was running out for Andrei Arshavin to complete his move to the Barclays Premier League.

There are concerns that if a deal is not struck today, there will be little time to secure a work permit for the Russia forward.

It has emerged that, by last night, Arsenal had not submitted a written bid improving their offer of £12million up front plus £3m in conditional add-ons.

Falling down: Andrei Arshavin's proposed move to Arsenal is running out of time

However, sources close to the deal say that Zenit general director Maxim Mitrofanov and Arsenal director Ken Friar have a number of spoken agreements, which are dependent on the overall financial package which the player receives.

Zenit want £18m from the deal, while Arsenal are only prepared to pay £15m. Any shortfall could be made up by Arshavin reducing his personal demands and by paying back a £2.35m share of a loyalty bonus he received when signing a four-year contract in 2006.

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Arsenal are understood to have been talking to his agent, Dennis Lachter, last night. Arshavin's reported demands of £110,000 per week would only be acceptable if the transfer fee was significantly reduced.

Reports in other media that suggest he is paid at this level at Zenit are wide of the mark. An £80,000 a week deal at the Emirates would still represent an after-tax pay increase, with suggestions in Russia that his take-home pay is currently about £40,000 a week.

Forward planning: Zenit boss Dick Advocaat wants to know whether his star attacker is staying

Mitrofanov said: 'I have told Andrei that the club are ready to go. Now the decision for him is that he must choose between a dream to play in Europe and the salary that he wants to get.'

Arshavin, 27, is still in Dubai at Zenit's training camp, but reports in Russia today suggest that he was ready to leave and quit football all together over the club indicating that his greed was holding up the transfer.

If the saga is to come to an end, he may need to secure a visa in St Petersburg before arriving in London to complete a deal. All paperwork would need to be completed before the transfer deadline at 5pm on Monday.

Zenit coach Dick Advocaat has been working on the assumption that Arshavin will not be part of his plans for the new Russian Premier League, which starts in March, and the Dutchman has not selected him for either of the club's two warm-up matches in the last week.

However, the former Rangers boss says he is not up to date with the latest developments.

'I can't say anything definite, because the situation is constantly changing,' said Advocaat. 'One day, he seems to be moving in one direction, the next day in another. It is therefore difficult for me to have something to report.'

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Source: Daily_Mail