Former Arsenal forward, Andrey Arshavin has announced his retirement from football aged 37.
The Russian will play one final game – the Kazakhstan Supercup on Saturday 24, 2108 before he hangs up his boots to take up a coaching career.
Arshavin signed for Arsenal in 2009 and scored 31 goals (with 46 assists) in 145 games for the club before he left for Zenit St Petersburg on a free transfer.
He will be remembered most at Arsenal for his four goals at Anfield as well as his super-late transfer that seemed set to collapse at the very last minute.
Football agent Jon Smith revealed how he agreed to pay £1.2m himself, just to get the Arshavin transfer over the line before the deadline in 2009.
In his book “The Deal”, Smith explained just how close the transfer was to not going through.
By deadline day, Arshavin was in London having a medical on Harley Street, but Arsenal and Zenit were still negotiating.
The Gunners initially made an offer of £8m earlier in the window, just over half of the £15m wanted by the Russian club.
Then they offered £12m in the last week of the window, then £13.5m, then £13.8m on deadline day.
Zenit director-general Maxim Mitrofanov still refused to budge. They wanted the full £15m of the deal was off.
Smith explains what happened next, saying: “Part of me thought, ‘What are Zenit going to do? Call him back? They have got nearly fifteen million for him anyway’. But the
Russians were absolutely poker-faced.
“We had now reached the final 40 minutes. I rang Pavel (Zenit’s administrator) again; it was time to act. ‘The answer is yes. Let’s do the deal at fifteen million.’
“I couldn’t take it any longer. I decided to offer the additional £1.2m myself to get the deal done and sort it out with Arsenal later.”
The Zenit administrator then drew up the contract and sent it to Arsenal.
On the contract, it said all the money would come from the Gunners. On seeing this, Gazidis immediately rang Smith up, with only five minutes until the deadline. The CEO wasn’t happy, but there was nothing they could do to negotiate any further at that stage.
Arsenal agreed to pay the extra £1.2m, and the deal went through on time.
Arshavin has a career total 603 club appearances with 133 goals and 179 assists.