Zenit confirm Arshavin interest

Unsettled forward linked with Russia return

Andrey Arshavin: Has failed to make an impression at Arsenal this season

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Zenit St Petersburg are reported to be lining up a return swoop for unsettled Arsenal attacker Andrey Arshavin.

The Russia captain could be tempted by a return to his homeland after failing to impress for the Gunners in recent months.

Arshavin, 30, has scored only once in 13 Premier League appearances this season and has only started six matches.

And Russian daily tabloid Sovietsky Sport believe Zenit are prepared to offer him a route out of north London by tabling his original transfer sum of 16.5million euros in January.

"We are always interested in Arshavin," Zenit director Igor Korneyev told Sovietsky Sport.


"But I can neither confirm nor deny whether we have made an offer."

Arshavin's stock soared when he helped guide Russia to the semi-finals of the 2008 European Championship.

But the diminutive forward is reportedly frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities at Arsenal, which are threatening his chances of making Russia's squad for Euro 2012 next summer.

With first-team appearances few and far between, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may be keen to cash in on Arshavin in order to make extra funds available for him to spend in the January transfer window.

Sovietsky Sport claim all transfer decisions at Zenit are made by the club's sponsor Gazprom and that the Russian natural gas giant - while currently looking for a striker - had long-term plans for one of Russia's national heroes.

"The player's return is possible if he decides on it," Gazprom boss Alexei Miller was quoted as saying earlier this month.

"We all have to return to our homelands sooner or later."