The latest name in a long line of seemingly never-ending high-profile players to be linked to oil-billionaire-backed Anzhi Makhachkala is Arsenal’s Andrei Arshavin.
It was initially rumoured in The People that Anzhi were interested in Arshavin and that they would offer him a ‘moneys-no-object move’ despite themselves reporting only a few days earlier that the Russian international had signed an improved deal with the Gunners.
Arshavin fell slightly out of favour with Arsene Wenger towards the end of last season and slipped even further down the pecking order this campaign.
Therefore he has then been linked with a move away, initially to his previous club Zenit St Petersburg, then with clubs in Turkey and Spain.
Naturally as he is a Russian player Anzhi were quickly brought into the equation, due to their well-publicised deals with Samuel Eto’o and Roberto Carlos.
Since these signings were announced in the summer, Anzhi have supposedly been trying to sign all manner of players and managers to buy their way into the world stage.
Of all the ridiculous acquisitions Anzhi were allegedly plotting (and there have been many, such as; Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Robin Van Persie, Nicolas Anelka, Fabio Capello, Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, all three of David Beckham’s sons, the ghost of George Best, the colour blue, Christmas and the emotion fear) Arshavin is the most believable, given that he has been sidelined recently and that it would be a return to his homeland.
However the fact that he is Russian probably means this is actually less likely to happen, as he will have better knowledge then most of the Republic of Dagestan and the region Makhachkala is situated.
He will be familiar with the area’s reputation for violence and that the current Anzhi players live hundreds of miles away near Moscow and fly in to play games for this very reason.
The day after The People seemed to start the Arshavin rumour, it was rubbished by the player himself, and reported as such in The Telegraph and The Express.
He told Sport Express; “I’ve already said, and can only repeat, that this season I will be at Arsenal. I haven’t received any proposals from Makhachkala. I have not had any contact with the club or its representatives.
He emphasised his desire to ‘win a trophy’ with Arsenal and had already signed an improved wage deal that runs until 2013.