Arsenal have emerged as contenders to sign highly-rated Russian stopper Igor Akinfeev.
The 24-year-old keeper has been on the radar of a string of Premier League clubs for several years now, but Arsenal now have renewed hope of landing the player after Akinfeev admitted to talks with compatriot Andrey Arshavin.
“I have spoken with Arshavin about Arsenal and London life. He has only had good things to say about the club and the city," Akinfeev told The Sun.
“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."
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been heavily linked with the CSKA Moscow star, who impressed on the Champions League stage and is regarded as one of the best keepers in Europe.
The lure of the Premier League appears strong for Akinfeev, who has his heart set on a move to either the Emirates or Old Trafford in pursuit of a new challenge.
“Arsenal and Manchester United are two of the very best clubs in the world," the goalkeeper continued.
“Juventus have also expressed an interest in me – but Arshavin has sold England to me very well. If both of them are going to be looking for keepers this summer – or even the next summer – then of course I am interested."
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been linked with a string of new keepers this summer, with the Frenchman under pressure to find a new No.1 ahead of the Premier League season.
United are looking for a long-term successor to Edwin Van der Saar, and the pair could go head-to-head in a battle to sign Akinfeev either this summer or the next.
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