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    Roman Pavlyuchenko shrugs off worries over move to Tottenham

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    Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who recently confirmed he will sign for English soccer club Tottenham Hotspur, played down concerns on Wednesday that a move to England could be a struggle for him.

    MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who recently confirmed he will sign for English soccer club Tottenham Hotspur, played down concerns on Wednesday that a move to England could be a struggle for him.

    Speaking to the Russian sports.ru website about the move, Pavlyuchenko said the language barrier would not prove much of a problem, even though his English was not particularly good.

    "What about the Brazilians who come to Russia?" he asked, referring to players such as Jo, recently purchased by Manchester City for some $35 million. "That's what translators are for. I just have to play, and then the language will come."

    The deal will see the 27-year-old become the most expensive Russian, with Tottenham reported to be paying up to $26 million for the forward, whose three goals at Euro 2008 made him the tournament's joint second top scorer.

    Pavlyuchenko stressed that the sum would not mean he would feel any additional pressure. "It's all the same how much they pay for me," he said.

    When asked by sports.ru how long the contract with Tottenham would be for, the Spartak Moscow player replied, "I'm not sure. I don't know, when I sign, I'll let you know."

    He revealed that he had first heard of Tottenham's interest after Euro 2008, admitting however that he had yet to speak to Juande Ramos. "We were supposed to have a chat yesterday but it didn't work out."

    Spurs have failed to gain a point from their two opening Premiership fixtures. However, Pavlyuchenko said he had not been put off by the club's poor start to the season.

    Russian players are notorious bad travelers, and Pavlyuchenko, who made his debut for Spartak in 2003, scoring 77 goals in 147 matches, said that he would miss the club a lot. He also joked that he would talk to the Tottenham manager about "nothing but other Russian footballers," in order to earn them a move to England as well.

    The London club was under intense pressure to secure a top-class striker after selling Robbie Keane to Liverpool, and with the imminent departure of Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United.

    They have also been linked for over a month with another Russian star, Andrei Arshavin. It is not yet clear if the Pavlyuchenko move means the end of Tottenham's interest in Arshavin.

    When asked if he would like to play with his national side teammate at Tottenham, Pavlyuchenko said that, "I'll play with whoever I play with - it doesn't really depend on me."

    Pavlyuchenko had earlier said that he had taken a long time to make the decision to sign, saying that, "I was worried about my child, I talked it over with my wife. It's important that those close to me feel comfortable about it. And then I took the decision - it's very important to try and prove yourself in Europe, especially in such a serious league as the English one."

    Another concern he reportedly had was signing for a club that was not involved in the Champions League. Tottenham have never appeared in Europe's most prestigious club competition, but Pavlyuchenko hopes to take them there.

    "Well, we'll get there. I hope so anyway. After all, Tottenham is a club with big ambitions," he said.

    Pavlyuchenko's confirmation of his move to Tottenham came shortly after Zenit, who are financed by state-owned energy giant Gazprom, shattered the Russian transfer record, paying $44 million to sign the Portuguese player Danny from Dynamo Moscow.

    The deal has caused controversy, however, with a group of Dynamo fans appealing to the Audit Chamber to investigate "on what grounds Zenit can permit themselves to spend astronomical sums from the Gazprom budget, in effect the state budget," adding that the money spent by Zenit came from the sale of Russia's natural resources.

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