Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger gave the strongest hint yet Friday that Andrei Arshavin's future at the club is in doubt, saying that the diminutive Russian was staying put "for the moment."
Arshavin has been linked with a move to Zenit, where he started his career, after struggling to hold down a first-team place at the Emirates this season.
“Arshavin is not leaving at the moment,” Wenger said on the Arsenal website. Wenger earlier this month was quoted as saying he wanted to hold on to the 30-year-old, who was recently dropped to the reserves due to poor form in the first team.
Arshavin’s agent, Phil Smith, said that talks about a transfer had been under way, but were now suspended. He did not name the buying club.
“At the moment, negotiations are not ongoing. They are suspended,” Smith told Russian newspaper Sovetsky Sport.
Russian media have also speculated that Arshavin could be a target for big-spending club Anzhi Makhachkala.
That move would reunite Arshavin with former Russia national team coach Guus Hiddink, who was appointed coach at the Dagestan-based side last week.
Arshavin joined Arsenal in 2009 from Zenit, where he was part of the team that won the 2008 UEFA Cup.
Since joining Arsenal, Arshavin has played 133 competitive matches, scoring 30 goals, but was demoted to the reserves Tuesday.
Arshavin took Russia to third place at the 2008 European championships, under Hiddink.