Today’s blog is a) brief and b) late. Apologies for both.
Zenit St. Petersburg’s General Director, Maxim Mitrofanov (who, incidentally, looks somewhat like a fat schoolboy), has suggested that Arsenal are not the only club in the frame for Andrei Arshavin’s signature:
“With regard to the transfer of Andrei, we are negotiating with a number of English clubs. Zenit negotiates with potential buyers directly, this corresponds to the interest of foreign clubs interested in buying Arshavin.”
That second setence really doesn’t seem to mean anything at all, but a one-line quote would’ve looked a bit rubbish, so I left it in. The good news (assuming, as this blog does, that the signing of Arshavin would be a ‘good’ thing), is that negotiations with Arsenal are still ongoing. Allow some other Russian, Alexey Petrov, to explain:
“From Manchester City no documents have been reported in our club. In recent times the only offer for Arshavin was from Arsenal, proposing £10 million. However the leadership of our club considered that this amount is insufficient for a player of this level.
Negotiations with Arsenal are not finished, they are continuing, but you cannot say there is anything definite.”
If City aren’t in for him, it’s hard to imagine another English club who might have made a bid. Spurs spring to mind, but I’m not sure he’s quite what they need. It wouldn’t surprise me if Mitrofanov is trying to make it appear as if there’s competition to force Arsenal’s hand in negotiations.
What could make the difference is that Arshavin himself is in little doubt about what he’d like to happen:
“In some games last season, we played football which was very similar to that of Arsenal. I would prefer my present No 10 but in the team where I hope to move it’s not vacant. So I’m ready for any number they are going to offer me.”
Well, at least the shirt number aspect of negotiations shouldn’t be too problematic.
We’re almost halfway through the transfer window now. One wonders how long Arsene will persist with this deal before he begins to move for other potential targets.
Nicklas Bendtner apparently gave away the starting line-up for the game against Bolton. Frankly, even if he did, I can’t see what difference it would have made: it wasn’t a particularly revolutionary selection, and I’d be surprised if the Bolton management gaped in shock and awe and what Bendtner allegedly made public.
Finally, you have to love the committment of some Arsenal fans.
Back with more tomorrow.