Zenit prepare loan move for Arsenal’s Arshavin

Zenit have entered loan negotiations with Arsenal for troubled attacking midfielder Andrei Arshavin, according to the Russian champions' general director.

Arshavin, whose contract expires in June 2013, has been the subject of widespread speculation of his imminent return to Russia after spending much of the season on Arsene Wenger's bench.

He has also been targeted by big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala, who contracted Dutch coach Guus Hiddink last week.

Zenit's General Director Maxim Mitrofanov told the Sovietsky Sport daily that Arshavin was still interested in staying in England but had also realised he needed to get match fit before joining Russia's UEFA EURO 2012 squad.

"Arshavin would interest Zenit in loan terms," Mitrofanov told the online edition of the daily. "We have talked to [Arsenal]. We will have to see what they do next."

Russia's transfer window expires tomorrow.

Sovietsky Sport had earlier reported that Zenit wanted to eventually make the 30-year-old a coach of the club's youth squad.

Arshavin's stock soared when he inspired one of the most dazzling Russia sides in decades to a semi-final appearance at EURO 2008.

Arsenal signed him early the following year and he made an immediate impact with six goals in 12 games.

But he has only scored once in the Premier League in 13 appearances this season, and has only started six games.