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Hunger is back at Barca

Barcelona
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Arsenal reject Atletico Madrid bid for Eboue

Arsenal have rejected a bid from Atletico Madrid for Emmanuel Eboue, according to the Ivorian's agent.

Eboue was the target of abuse from Gunners earlier this season but is clearly part of Arsene Wenger's plans as the Arsenal boss reportedly wants to open talks on a new deal less than two years after the player had signed a new one.

Franjo Vranjkovic, Eboue's representative, said: "We received an official request from Atletico Madrid which was passed to Arsenal.

"I have the fax from director Ken Friar who wrote to me to say they are not interested in the offer.

"Then I received a call from Arsene Wenger, who invited me to go to England to start negotiations over a renewal. I see no possibility that the player will leave Arsenal."

Meanwhile, Zenit St Petersburg appear to have softened their stance on the fee demanded for target Andrei Arshavin.

Following the rejection of a £12million offer which included add-ons, it now appears a compromise could be reached which would allow Arshavin, 27, to complete his dream move to the Gunners - whom he claims are his ''team of the future''.

Zenit are resigned to losing their star man and confident matters will be concluded - despite the claims of Arshavin's agent, Dennis Lachter, that their inflated demands were unreasonable.

''We are certainly conducting negotiations directly with the Arsenal chief executive,'' Zenit general director Maksim Mitrofanov told Russian newspaper Sport Express. ''The footballer's agent is not taking part in them. Because of this he simply does not know all the details of the process of negotiation, and in this sense his comments should not always be trusted.

''As regards the process itself, as I have already said, it is not simple, but it is moving and we hope that it will lead to its logical conclusion.''

Arsenal are understood to have set a deadline of Monday for the matter to be resolved one way or another before they would then look to pursue other targets - reported to be West Ham's former Gunners defender Matthew Upson and Le Mans' Ivory Coast striker Gervinho.

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