Arshavin set for Arsenal exit as Zenit return beckons

Russian midfielder Andrey Arshavin is set for a third return to Zenit St Petersburg.

Arshavin is desperate to win a place in Fabio Capello’s international squad, with Russia favourites to progress to the World Cup as group winners from European qualifying group six.

Arshavin is currently a free agent after he was released by Arsenal earlier this month. He had joined the Gunners in February 2009 from Zenit, and was loaned back to them for the final four months of the 2011-12 campaign.

Now, Sky Sports believes Zenit’s owners, which are gas giant and UEFA Champions League sponsorship partner Gazprom, have approved his acquisition.

The 32-year-old won the UEFA Cup with Zenit back in 2008, and went on to have a hugely successful Euro 2008 with his country, helping Russia to the final four and seeing his transfer value rise significantly for interested parties.

Gazprom’s chief executive Alexei Miller told Sport Express Daily: “We have to remember that Arshavin is a product of Zenit and I think it right that a product of Zenit finished his career at his native club.

“Arshavin is a great Russian footballer and a great Petersburg sportsman.”

Zenit are looking to rebuild following a disappointing campaign last time around, which saw CSKA Moscow claim the Russian championship from them, despite spending over £80m on Hulk and Axel Witsel.

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