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By ESPN Staff

Arshavin plays down Real Madrid link

Andrei Arshavin is reluctant to comment on speculation linking him with Real Madrid, insisting he is focused solely on whether or not his current club Zenit St Petersburg will grant him his wish to leave.

Reports in the Spanish media this week have suggested Madrid will enter the race to sign the wantaway Russian international when the January transfer window opens.

However, while the 27-year-old admits he holds the two-time reigning Primera Liga champions in high regards, he does not want to look beyond sorting out his situation with Zenit.

"To be honest I don't really want to talk much about this (Madrid), it is only a rumour and I cannot say much more," said Arshavin in AS.

"How could I not want to go Madrid? The only thing I've said is I want to leave Zenit in the new year. I have not made an declaration in favour of any team.

"The most important thing now is not whether Real Madrid want me or not, but if Zenit will allow me to go."

He added about Madrid: "Of course I like them, they are a great team, one of the best."

Arshavin was on the verge of a move to Tottenham Hotspur following Euro 2008, but the move broke down when Zenit raised the asking price of the player to a reported €27 million.

The diminutive forward has also been linked to a number of other clubs, with Spanish giants Madrid and Barcelona among them.

When asked his thoughts about the Primera Liga, Arshavin said: "It's the league I've followed most, but the Premier League is another league I like and interests me a lot. As I've already said, any great European league would be good for me.

"It's an honour the great European clubs are looking at me. This is the reason why I must move from Zenit. I have not lost hope this will happen within a couple of months."

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