Arsenal in talks over Arshavin


ZENIT ST Petersburg have confirmed talks are taking place with Arsenal regarding a deal for Andrei Arshavin.

Russian midfielder Arshavin has been looking to leave the Uefa Cup holders for a move to a major European league.

He impressed at Euro 2008 and was linked with Arsenal's North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid after the tournament.

However, in recent weeks, speculation concerning a possible January move to Arsenal has increased after he was given permission to discuss his departure from Zenit.

Reports suggest Zenit are demanding €22 million for Arshavin, but the Gunners value the 27-year-old at considerably less. Zenit, though, have told Sky Sports News they are confident of agreeing a deal with Arsenal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has money to spend during the January transfer window - but maintains business will be done only for an "exceptional talent".

Arshavin would appear to fit that bill, and even the fact he will be cup-tied for the Champions League knock-out phase would not deter Wenger if it meant signing a quality player.

Meanwhile, Torino president Urbano Cairo is adamant he will not loan Alessandro Rosina to Arsenal in the January transfer window. Torino have reacted quickly to reports that Italian playmaker Rosina could leave for the Emirates stadium.

The Granata's top man has had a difficult start to the campaign. Cairo has, however, insisted Rosina is part of his club's future plans.

"Ale [Rosina] will not go on loan to Arsenal in order to rediscover his form, because he doesn't need that," he said.

"He will remain with us and will give us a helping hand to reach our aims."

Twenty-four-year-old Rosina has made just seven starts for Torino this season.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes he can win the Premier League title with the players he has got.

It has become clear the Anfield chief is unlikely to delve into the transfer market this month, with little prospect of any of his first-team squad stars leaving the club.

There is a very obvious desire at the club not to rock the boat at any level with Liverpool top of the table and aiming for their first title in 19 years.

Sources at the club confirm that Benitez has made no move to re-sign Emile Heskey, despite constant speculation the England international was on his way back to Merseyside.

And Liverpool have Fernando Torres, Martin Skrtel, Fabio Aurelio and Alvaro Arbeloa all back from injury to boost the side in the final 18 league games of the season.

Benitez said: "We finished 2008 very well, we played with style and have scored a lot of goals. I am very pleased and happy with the situation and hope it will be the same in the new year.

"We do not need to go into the transfer market, we are certainly not desperate to do so.

"If we find we need something we will try, but it is always hard in this window and very expensive.

"But we are in a good position and I am happy to use the players we have now plus the ones returning from injury."

The only departure is likely to be out-of-favour Jermaine Pennant, whose contract expires at the end of the season. And if a deal cannot be secured, Benitez will send the winger out on loan.

Benitez will rebuff any attempts by AC Milan to sign defender Daniel Agger, while Andreas Dossena, who would have been a possible departure, is now needed as back-up for Aurelio at left back.

That is because Liverpool will lose impressive Argentinian youngster Emiliano Insua until February 8th due to the South American Under-20 Championships.

Insua has made a big impact in recent weeks, and the international call-up could not have come at a worse time for him.

He has recently broken into Benitez's first team and done well in four successive matches. But his enforced international departure has been offset by the return from injury of Aurelio.

One player, 17-year-old striker Marvin Pourie, is leaving the club in a €55,000 switch to Schalke.