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Andrei Arshavin is ready to pay back Zenit St. Petersburg
Andrei Arshavin is ready to pay back Zenit St. Petersburg half of a $5 million bonus he received for signing a 4-year contract in 2006 to ensure his move to Arsenal goes ahead, Sovetski Sport said Friday.

The paper cited sources "close to the player." It is understood that the money would be added to the 15 million pounds [$21.5 million] that Arsenal have offered for the 27-year-old St. Petersburg native.

"The contract has only been half fulfilled, and therefore it is logical that he should return half of the sum to Zenit," the club's general director, Maxim Mitrofanov, told the paper on Wednesday.

Mitrofanov also earlier suggested that Arshavin should drop his wage demands in order to help the deal go through.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Wednesday evening that the Arshavin deal was "90% completed."

"The deal is maybe 90 per cent completed. However, the final 10 per cent of any deal can be the most difficult," he told journalists after Arsenal had drawn 1-1 with Everton.

Arshavin emerged from the shadows of Russian soccer last summer after unexpectedly leading the national side to the semi-finals of Euro 2008. He immediately became a transfer target for a number of clubs, including Spanish giants Barcelona, but Gazprom-controlled Zenit turned down bids in the region of $30 million as "too low."

Arshavin then threatened to go on strike if he was not sold in the winter transfer window. This, coupled with the global financial crisis, saw Zenit drop their price for the forward.


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