Andrei Arshavin, the striker who helped Zenit St. Petersburg capture the UEFA Cup last season, probably will move to Tottenham before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, Zenit coach Dick Advocaat said.
Zenit is in talks with the North London club about the 27- year-old Arshavin, voted an all-star at the European Championships for his play with the Russian national team, Advocaat said in a telephone interview from St. Petersburg.
His remarks come two days after Zenit released a statement saying Tottenham failed to reach an agreement to acquire Arshavin.
"We don't need to sell players," Advocaat said in a telephone interview from St. Petersburg. "Last year we sold Martin Skrtel to Liverpool for 10 million-pounds, and now probably Arshavin will go to Spurs."
Advocaat said Arshavin probably will be held out of the Super Cup game against Champions League winner Manchester United on Aug. 29. The transfer window closes three days later.
Tottenham spokesman Simon Felstein said it was club policy not to comment on transfer speculation. The Daily Mail and other British media have reported the team is searching for a forward following the departure of Robbie Keane to Liverpool and in the wake of Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov's transfer request last week.
If Arshavin, who was voted Russia's player of the year in 2006, does make it to the Premier League by Sept. 1 there is no guarantee he will be a success, former Russian international Andrei Kanchelskis said in an interview.
Kanchelskis, who's the sporting director at Russian second- tier team FC Nosta Novotroitsk, won two league titles with Manchester United and also played for Everton during his five years in the Premier League in the 1990s.
"So many good players have come to England with great technical skills but they don't play well because every league is different and the Premier League is one of the hardest in the world," he said.
Zenit, which counts Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev among its supporters, has been bankrolled by OAO Gazprom, Russia's largest publicly traded company, since December 2005.
Since then, Zenit has achieved its greatest success in a generation. Last season it clinched its first league title in 23 years and beat the likes of four-time European champion Bayern Munich on the way to its UEFA Cup success over Glasgow Rangers.
Tottenham has not won a league championship since 1961.
Arshavin's arrival would be Tottenham's fourth major addition since the end of last season, when Spurs won the League Cup for their first major title since 1999. England midfielder David Bentley was the latest recruit when he signed for $33.6 million on July 31, joining forward Giovani Dos Santos, Croatian international midfielder Luka Modric and goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
Tottenham lost its first Premier League game of the season 2-1 at Middlesbrough last week and plays its first home match against Sunderland tomorrow.