• Premier League

Arshavin to make Russia return with Zenit

ESPN staff
June 27, 2013
Andrei Arshavin is not having his Arsenal contract renewed and will be free to leave on July 1 © Getty Images

Andrei Arshavin has agreed a two-year contact with Zenit St. Petersburg after being released by Arsenal.

Arshavin's contract with the Gunners does not expire until July 1, but Zenit have confirmed that the former Russia captain will return to the club where he began his career.

"One of Russia's best football players of the last decade is returning to his home town," Zenit said in a statement on their official website. "Zenit football club welcomes the return to Andrei Arshavin to St. Petersburg and wishes the athlete new success in the squad."

Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller, the company which owns Zenit, also welcomed the move, saying: "We have to remember that Arshavin is a product of Zenit. And I think it right that a product of Zenit finishes his career at his native club.

"Arshavin is a great Russian footballer and a great Petersburg sportsman."

Miller is also quoted as saying that Arshavin had initiated talks with Zenit himself.

Arshavin, who spent time on loan at Zenit during the 2011-12 season, becomes the club's fourth summer signing after the captures of Anatoly Tymoshchuk from Bayern Munich, midfielder Ivan Solovyov from Dynamo Moscow and goalkeeper Yury Lodygin from Greek side Skoda Xanthi.

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