Confirmed: Arsenal playmaker rules out summer exit

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Arsenal playmaker Andrey Arshavin has dismissed reports he is set to leave north London to return to his native Russia with big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala.

The 30-year-old Russian international moved to England from Zenit St Petersburg in 2008 for £15million, and insists he is happy and remains fully focused on the 2011-12 campaign with the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger has added to his attacking, creative options at Arsenal this summer with the addition of former Lille forward Gervinho, and followed that up with the capture of highly rated teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton for a fee that could rise to £15million.

Increased competition for places at the Emirates Stadium is thought to be the cause of continued speculation that Arshavin could leave Arsenal this summer, and with Anzhi's newfound fortune there is a tenuous link between the two stories.


Bankrolled by billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, the ambitious outfit have already completed deals for former Chelsea midfielder Yuri Zhirkov, and are in advanced talks with Samuel Eto'o over a transfer to the Dinamo Stadium.

However, the Gunners star is a proposed target they will not be able to tempt their way, after declaring his contentment at Arsenal.

"These are just rumours," Arshavin told Sport Express. "I've always said that I'm playing where I want - in a top European club.

"If I ever decide to come back to Russia, Zenit would be my first priority. As for Europe, there's only one club I would never go to - Real Madrid, because I'm a Barcelona fan."

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Andrey Arshavin
Premier League

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