Days after Arsene Wenger declares his interest in a player, Barcelona come along and ruin his plans once again. Not content with unsettling Alexander Hleb and Emmanuel Adebayor, the Catalans have also moved for a player before he’s even reached The Emirates Stadium.
Zenit St Petersburg have confirmed that Barcelona have made an approach for their playmaker Andrei Arshavin, the star of Russia’s Euro 2008 campaign. A spokesman for Zenit stated today:
Barcelona have made a formal proposal to Zenit for the purchase of Arshavin.
We will only talk about this once Andrei returns to Zenit.
Barcelona now looks to be the preferred destination, with them making moves to complete a transfer that the 27-year-old Russian described as his “dream” earlier this week. The Catalans have been monitoring the player since earlier this year, as Barca vice-president Ferrari Seriano mentions:
Our interest isn’t sudden since we have been following him with discretion for a few months now.
We are interested in Arshavin. But it won’t be easy to sign him because all teams want him now.
Arshavin’s agent, Dennis Lachter, thinks he will leave Zenit for Camp Nou in a deal worth around €25million (£19.8million), but he insists money is not the main factor, as he told Spanish TV channel La Sexta:
It’s time for him [Arshavin] to look for new challenges, and this is a great opportunity for him. Everything depends on how interested Barcelona are and how much the player wants to play there.
There are not that many clubs in the world that can match his pay at the moment, but the main reasons for leaving will be sporting ones.
The move has the hype of an international tournament. Arshavin has only played two games for Russia, yet he is already worth three times what he was after winning the UEFA Cup. I’m not doubting his talent, but even Michael Ricketts had a few good games once.