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Arsenal warned against inflated Arshavin price

Andrei Arshavin's agent fears Zenit St Petersburg are desperately trying to drive up the price of their playmaker, who is eager to move to a big European team.

Zenit have confirmed Arsenal are one of the clubs to have declared their interest and suggested a deal in the region of £20 million was in the pipeline. But the player's representative, Dennis Lachter, claims the former Russian champions are hoping to inflate the price by using the media and at the moment there have been no offers.

The Russia international stated last month he would never play for Zenit again and will soon be able to buy out his own contract under FIFA rules. That means Zenit are playing a dangerous game as if they do not sell him during the current transfer window as they could be left with virtually nothing.

Tottenham Hotspur were very interested in the summer but refused to pay up to £20 million for a player who shone at Euro 2008. Now, with that tournament a dim and distant memory, it appears unlikely Zenit will be able to get anything like that figure, with £10 million more realistic.

Juventus are also said to be tracking the 27-year-old but Arshavin is reported to have visited Arsenal's Hertfordshire training ground during a trip to England earlier this year, while it has also been claimed the player is in fact already in London to put the final touches to the move.

But Lachter maintains any talk of a done deal is premature.

"There is no news, no negotiations yet," Lachter said in the London Evening Standard. "I represent the player and I can assure you I would know if something had been discussed. It is the people of Zenit trying to initiate some kind of interest.

"They are trying to use the media to make the price of Arshavin £20m - I would not take it seriously."

Zenit general director Maxim Mitrofanov said: "It's very difficult to discuss the Arshavin value.

"We want to get an adequate payment. We also need to see what player will be coming to us to replace Andrei."

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