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English Premiership

Arshavin close to Reading switch

LONDON, England, December 27- Arsenal outcast Andrey Arshavin is close to sealing a January move to relegation-threatened Reading the DailyMail reports.

The Gunners signed him for £15million in 2009 but he has held talks over a switch to the Madejski Stadium, where billionaire Russian owner Anton Zingarevich wants the 31-year-old – a superstar in their homeland – to bolster his struggling squad.

Arsenal are listening to offers for Arshavin, out of contract at the end of the season, as they try to shift his £85,000-a-week contract off the wage bill.

Arsenal, who are willing to take a hefty loss on the forward, could offload him for as little as £2m.

Sources close to Arshavin insist he is taking the offer seriously, given his frustration at Arsenal and the chance to link up with compatriot Zingarevich.

Reading have made an informal offer for Arshavin, who has been told he can leave if he can find the right deal for him and Arsenal straight away. His old club Zenit St Petersburg are keen, as are Fulham.

Marouane Chamakh, on £60,000 a week, is the other big earner Arsenal will try to off-load in January. West Ham and Norwich are keen.

Reading midfielder Jimmy Kebe recently criticised Zingarevich for not splashing the cash during the summer after the club won the npower Championship.

With Reading still six points off safety at the halfway stage, McDermott wants to inject some top-flight experience into his squad during the transfer window.

‘We are talking at the moment regarding players. If we could bring in two or three players that could make a difference, it would be useful to the squad,’ he said.

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‘We don’t generally deal in big prices. We try to get players that are available. I’d like to bring in two or three with a little bit of experience at the level.

‘Having said that, if we can bring in someone from somewhere who we think has potential and can play for us, then fine and that’s what we have done with the group now.’

– DailyMail

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