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Powerful world figure had huge effect on this controversial Arsenal transfer

The Arsenal fans in the Football Transfer Tavern aren’t too sure what to make of this…

Andrey Arshavin’s transfer to Arsenal in 2009 was very peculiar at the time, given the mysterious circumstances around the deal.

He was a relatively unknown player, playing in the Russian league – joining a major European force for a whopping £15 million. It didn’t make sense to anyone here in the Football Transfer Tavern.

And now, thanks to Jon Smith’s autobiography ‘The Deal’ (via The Independent) – the circumstances surrounding the deal have become more clear.

Smith discusses that a fear of Vladamir Putin forced the Gunners to pay more than double what they were willing to for Arshavin, with the Russian leader playing a key role behind the scenes for Zenit.

Arshavin’s old club, Zenit, were owned by the state-run company Gazprom, of which Putin naturally has a heavy influence.

As a result, the club reportedly refused to compromise on price – and due to a number of other variables, including Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis only being several weeks into the job – the deal went through anyway.

It is a very convoluted and complicated story, but one that is definitely worth looking into.

Interestingly, this deal was not the only major European transfer that Putin has been involved with. The Russian leader also reportedly tried to block Manuel Neuer’s move to Bayern Munich, on the grounds that the German keepers old club, Schalke, were also sponsored by Gazprom.

Who knew that Putin was so involved in European football?

Arsenal fans – Did you like Arshavin?

Let us know below!

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Article title: Powerful world figure had huge effect on this controversial Arsenal transfer

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