Arsenal lead United in race for Moscow star

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Football News

Arsenal hold a reported advantage over Manchester United in a probable summer bidding war for Igor Akinfeev.

The Russian No.1 has been a long-time target at Old Trafford, but have revealed that Arsenal were on the verge of signing the highly-rated keeper in January.

The website claims that Arsene Wenger pulled out of the deal at the last minute despite personal terms and the finer details being agreed by the two parties.

Akinfeev has been with CSKA Moscow all of his career, debuting as a 17-year-old in the Russian league. He has cemented his position at the Luzhniki Stadium over the past seven years, starring for the Krasno-sinie in UEFA Cup and Champions League runs.

At international level, Akinfeev made his debut for Russia as a teenager, becoming the third youngest player to represent his nation when he played against Norway as an 18-year-old. He has since won 40 caps, although will not feature at the World Cup after Guus Hiddink's side were eliminated in the play-offs.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been a long-time admirer of Akinfeev, with the Scot linked with a string of keepers alongside the Russian stopper.

So is Wenger, who is now almost certain to make a keeper addition following the poor end to the season from Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski.

With the Frenchman's previous dealings, he must be considered favourite to land Akinfeev if he chooses to move again.

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