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Arshavin puts faith in Almighty as Arsenal bid hits impasse


MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - Zenit St. Petersburg star Andrei Arshavin has said that only God can help make his dream of playing for a top foreign side come true, the Sport Express paper reported on Wednesday.

English Premier League side Arsenal have bid 12 million pounds ($16.5 million) for the 27-year-old forward. However, Zenit, controlled by state-run energy giant Gazprom, have rejected the offer. The winter transfer window closes in 10 days time.

"My hopes are, let's say, with the Almighty alone. Apart from Him, it appears, no one else is able to help me," Arshavin told the paper.

"One way or another, everything depends on Zenit. If they want to sell me, then they'll do it very quickly," he added.

Arshavin also said that, "Arsenal suit me completely as an option to continue my career. The club, the trainer and the championship - all of them meet my desire to test myself at a new level," the forward commented.

Although officials from the North London club were earlier reported to be due in St. Petersburg on Tuesday for talks with Zenit, they did not travel to Russia.

However, Zenit general director Maxim Mitrofanov told Sport Express that the club did not consider the negotiations to be closed, saying that he hoped a "compromise could be reached."

Arshavin announced last year that if he was not allowed to leave in the winter transfer window then he would remain a Zenit player "on paper only."

The 2006 Russian Player of the Year is currently with Zenit at a pre-season camp in the United Arab Emirates.

"I need the training camp to get ready for the new season," Arshavin said. "However, I outlined my position to Zenit president Alexander Dyukov and trainer Dick Advocaat before leaving. There has been no fundamental change in this position."

"We still have time, but unfortunately at the moment there is nothing to say about quick movement or new developments," Arshavin's agent, Dennis Lachter said on Tuesday, as quoted by sports news website sport.co.uk

He also suggested that Arshavin could buy out his contract with Zenit in November if his transfer fell through.

"We will not go out of contract with Zenit in the summer, we will wait until November. In November he will be able to use his right to buy out [his contract] under Article 17 of the FIFA rules. Zenit will be forced to accept a much lower deal than they are hesitating to take now," the agent said.

Arshavin was linked with a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Tottenham, in the summer after leading Russia to the semifinals of Euro 2008. However, Gazprom-controlled Zenit subsequently turned down a number of offers, reportedly in excess of $30 million, for the player as "too low."

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