Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has revealed his desire to play in England – with Arsenal his preferred option.
The 24-year-old CSKA Moscow goalie is viewed by many as one of the best young stoppers in the world, and he has been consistently linked with a move to the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger is believed to be on the lookout for a new first choice ‘keeper, after he lost faith in Manuel Alumina and deputy Lukasz Fabianksi failed to take advantage when given his opportunity.
And, with Almunia failing to feature in Wenger’s pre-season starting line-ups, a bid for Akinfeev could be imminent. The Russian number one has explained that his international team-mate Andrei Arshavin has convinced him that a move to the Emirates would be the best way to further his career.
“I have spoken with Arshavin about Arsenal and London life. He has only had good things to say about the club and the city,” he told the Daily Star Sunday.
“He said some very nice things about me going on to be the best goalkeeper in the world – and that he would like me to reach that goal at Arsenal with him.”
However, the Gunners could face competition with Manchester United and Juventus for his signature – and Akinfeev would also welcome a transfer to Old Trafford.
He said: “[Manchester United] are a great club with a great manager. Of course there is every chance this will be the last season for Edwin Van der Sar. To be the number one for Manchester United would be a great honour too.
“They are the biggest football club in the world and, to be their number one for a length of time, you know you will have success. Juventus have also expressed an interest in me but Arshavin has sold England to me very well.”