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Apr 9, 2013

Arshavin considering retirement - report

Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin is on the brink of calling time on his football career, according to a report in the Evening Standard.

• Mangan: Arsenal find some depth

Arshavin, 31, who cost the Gunners £15 million when he signed from Zenit St Petersburg in the January transfer window of 2009, has made just seven substitute appearances in the Premier League this season and has not featured for Arsene Wenger's side since the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea in January.

Wenger confirmed that he was eager to offload the Russia international during the last January transfer window, but lack of interest in a player, who was once hailed as one of Europe's most gifted, surprised both Arsenal and the player's representatives.

Reading were linked with a move for Arshavin at the turn of 2013, but then Royals manager Brian McDermott dismissed the links as "highly unlikely", with the high wages demanded by the playmaker blocking any prospect of a move.

If the latest reports are accurate, it seems as if Arshavin has fallen out of love with the game and may consider taking his life in a different direction when his Arsenal contract expires in the summer.

The former Zenit player's career has been on the wane for some time and his lack of action at the Emirates Stadium has forced Russia coach Fabio Capello to drop him from his side's World Cup qualifying campaign.

While his Arsenal career has been largely a tale of frustration, Arshavin has enjoyed a handful of highlights in a Gunners shirt, with his winning goal in a Champions League home tie against Barcelona in February 2011 a notable high.

The attacker spent the second half of last season on loan back at Zenit, with Wenger previously conceding that one of his most expensive signings as Arsenal boss has "been a victim of competition" during his time at the club.

"I don't tolerate suggestions that his attitude is not right," Wenger said earlier this season. "He is a classy player and a top professional with a great attitude. The trouble for him is we have had plenty of options in the midfield and that has made it difficult for him. Despite this, he works hard in training every day."

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