BEIRUT

Football

Arshavin likely to return to Zenit, PSG in for Modric

Russia's Andrei Arshavin eyes the ball during the official training session on the eve of the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group A match between Poland and Russia in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, June 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

BEIRUT: Zenit St. Petersburg have opened talks with Arsenal about the permanent transfer of Russia captain Andrey Arshavin.

The 31-year-old forward spent the second half of last season on loan to Zenit, helping the Russian side win the title.

The player signed for the north London club from Zenit in a club-record 15 million pound ($23.3 million) transfer back in 2009 after a string of impressive performances at Euro 2008 and made a blistering start to his career in England.

His most memorable performance came when Arshavin scored four goals in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Liverpool in April 2009 as he rapidly became an important part of the Arsenal side.

A disappointing campaign last year saw Arshavin’s stock fall and the player was ushered out the door after scoring just twice for the Gunners all season.

After rediscovering his form in Russia, a memorable display in Russia’s 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic has seen Zenit move quickly to secure a deal, with the clubs having held informal discussions over the weekend.

The Gunners hope to recoup around 8 million pounds for the player, yet Zenit are said to value Arshavin at closer to 5 million.

The Mirror newspaper reports that Paris Saint Germain are keen to disrupt Manchester United’s planned acquisition of Luka Modric from Tottenham, with the French side preparing to offer in excess of 30 million pounds.

Club scouts watched the player in Croatia’s 3-1 win against Republic of Ireland and PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti has already identified the player as one of his summer transfer targets.

Tottenham refused to countenance any deal last year when both Chelsea and United hoped to sign the Croatian and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is likely to demand a large transfer fee to even consider selling one of the Premier League’s best players.

However, united remain confident of securing Modric’s services with the player thought to favor a move to Old Trafford over France.

Modric has insisted that he is only thinking of Euro 2012, refusing to be drawn into discussion over his future.

“I’m with the national team. I am a Spurs player and it’s not down to me to speak about it,” he said.

Everton’s Marouane Fellaini has delivered a blow to the club by admitting he is eager to play European football.

In recent weeks Real Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea have all shown an interest in the midfielder, although the Belgian has said he is happy to remain at Goodison Park.

"If I have got to go, I will go. If not, I repeat, I am at Everton,” Fellaini told the Express newspaper.

"I am ambitious – I want to play in the Champions League or in the Europa League. ??

"Last season we finished seventh, and we were not able to qualify for Europe, which was a shame. ??

"If an ambitious club comes in for me? Why not, just to gain experience?”

The Sun newspaper claims that CSKA Moscow will offer their Russian midfielder Alan Dzagoev a new contract, as Arsenal and Manchester United are preparing to step up their interest in the player.

Dzagoev scored two goals as Russia overcame the Czech Republic Friday, and the 21-year-old is rumored to be interesting several top European clubs.

The player looks set to be one of the breakout stars at Euro 2012, with his impressive performance for the national team coming after a fine domestic campaign with CSKA.

Chelsea are willing to pay 20 million pounds for Malaga striker Jose Salomon Rondon, with the Blues keen to add to their attacking options after the departure of Didier Drogba.

The West London club currently have Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge on their books, and are close to finalizing the capture of Brazilian forward Hulk from Porto.

Spanish paper Marca reports that club scouts watched the imposing Venezuelan turn out for his country in the 2-0 defeat to Chile.

Barcelona Daniel Alves has called on his Brazilian compatriot Neymarto to join him at the Catalan club this summer.

The forward is a target for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, but his current side Santos are reluctant to consider a transfer until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“I still think he is a phenomenon and he would be a great signing for any team in the world. If he signed for Barca I'd be happy,”Alves told tribalfootball.com.

“The sooner he moves, the better for him and the club that gets to sign him.”

 

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