Andrei Arshavin hasn't been playing much recently for Arsenal, except for the reserves. Andrei Arshavin is not a much-loved figure at Arsenal, and both Zenit and Anzhi Makhachkala have lots of money, and are Russian teams. The Russian transfer window is open until Friday. Thus, there have been a number of unattributed transfer rumours linking Arshavin with a move back to Mother Russia. FInally, though, we have some actual, attributed quotes!
"Arshavin would interest us in terms of having him on loan," the Zenit general director, Maxim Mitrofanov, was quoted as saying by local media on Wednesday. "[Besides helping Zenit] Andrey would also be well prepared for the upcoming Euro 2012 finals. The question is what Arsenal really want, would they want a loan deal?"
Ok. Really, the key part of that statement is "What Arsenal really want, would they want a loan deal". Of course Arshavin would interest Zenit on a loan deal. They wouldn't have to pay much money, they'd get a local hero back, and they'd replace Danny, who's out for the rest of the season. Arshavin has said before that he'd only return to Russia if he went back to Zenit. But, why would Arsenal want to loan him?
Even if you believe Arshavin has no use for Arsenal anymore (and that cross against Sunderland says otherwise), why should Arsenal loan him out when Aaron Ramsey got injured on Saturday, Gervinho just returned from a tournament where he played a lot of games, Theo Walcott hasn't been sparkling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a young, developing player who may have off games? There's no chance Arsenal can replace Arshavin; the window to buy players is closed, so they could only replace him with a player coming in on a free. Robert Pires, at age 38, is not better than Andrei Arshavin. Furthermore, it means Arsenal get Arshavin back in the summer; if they really want to get rid of him, they'd sell him, and it makes no sense to sell him at this moment in time.
Will Arshavin leave in the summer? I would certainly expect that to be the case, especially if Ryo Miyaichi continues to impress at Bolton. But right now, Arsene Wenger wants to keep him, and it makes no sense to let him go back to Zenit when Arshavin has been one of the more creative players in recent weeks.
Oh, and finally, one last quote:
"The fact is Andrey still wants to play in England," Mitrofanov said.