He might have said his goodbyes; we all know he won’t pull on an Arsenal shirt in vain again; and his Wikipedia page might say he is ‘unattached’ but believe you me, technically, Andrey Arshavin is still an Arsenal FC player.
Of course he is not going to be for long; the Russian international’s future was confirmed by Arsene Wenger in April when he stated:
"I don't think he will stay here, because he doesn't play enough. He is at the end of his contract at the end of the season, then he will decide what he will do.’’
Signed from Zenit St Petersburg for a believed fee of around £15 million in January 2009 the Russian playmaker started off brilliantly for Arsenal; but as the years ticked by, despite his natural talent, he failed to produce the level of consistency necessary to play at this level.
Last year he made just 11 appearances and went back out on-loan to Zenit in the season prior.
So the writing was always on the wall for the former Russia captain when his contract expires on the 30th June.
But where next for the mercurial player the Arsenal players lovingly called ‘The Meerkat’.
There have been plenty of rumours surrounding his future recently with the likes of Galatasaray, LA Galaxy, Fulham, Al-Sadd and Khazar Lankaran of Azerbaijan.
It was however widely believed that Zenit would not be taking him on board again this summer despite continued rumours to the contrary over a possible return to his former club.
Now however a new destination is being touted; well a new destination in the same city as a previous link.
For Galatasaray’s Istanbul rivals Besiktas have been linked with his signature today.
The club are currently without a manager but are still trying to change a side that again finished well behind their traditional rivals in third place; as The Black Eagles continue to seek their first Super Lig title since 2009.
Turkish site Spothaber is the source of the report. They claim that contacts have begun between the two parties; with a meeting in Istanbul also mentioned where a €3 million annual salary was reportedly on offer.
Despite Arshavin’s apparent desire to remain in the United Kingdom due to personal reasons it may seem this offer turns out to be too good to refuse.
Do you think Besiktas would be a good move for Andrey Arshavin?
image: © Ronie Macdonald