In the long-term absence of perma-crocked Czech Republic star Tomas Rosicky, and the four month lay-off of young playmaking captain Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been linked with a replacement who can pull the strings while the former two ensure the club's physios earn their wage.

Despite reports to the contrary suggesting the buy would be too flambouyant, confirmation has just this moment arrived that Arsenal are indeed in talks with Zenit St Petersburg over Russian attacker Andrei Arshavin. A Zenit chief today told Sky Sports: "We have been in discussion with Arsenal now for some time.

"They are hoping that a deal will be concluded within the next ten days to two weeks."It is no secret that Zenit value the Russian international at £20 million, and if Arsenal were to pay the full amount, then it would smash the club's record.

The Gunners paid £13 million for Sylvain Wiltord in August 2000. In the winter window in 2003- 04, the fee paid for Jose Reyes was initially £10 million, but could have risen to £17 million due to top ups, but was unlikely to dwarf the transfer for Wiltord.

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