Anzhi Makhachkala star Odil Ahmedov has revealed Arsenal scouts have tracked his progress over the 2012/13 campaign and the 25-year-old Uzebekistan international is eager for the Premier League side to make an official bid.
The Russians value their midfielder at £6m but Arsene Wenger will reportedly pay only £4m. Ahmedov is a defensive player, who operates mainly as a holding midfielder; a position Wenger knows he must fill with a capable player this summer, if he is to have any chance at ending a nearly decade-long trophy drought for the Gunners.
"It is true I have interest from Arsenal though - their scouts have watched me in every match this season. If I move there, I could be a huge success but there is no bid yet. I'm happy at Anzhi but I'd like to try England, Spain or Italy," Ahmedov told Russian newspaper Izvestia.
However, as is usually the case, Wenger is unlikely to have a clear path to his target. Serie A champions Juventus and the Bianconieri's domestic rivals, Genoa, have also been linked to Ahmedov.
The good news for the north London club's fans is Ahmedov is believed to favour a move to the Premier League. He spoke of a possible move to the Emirates last summer, after a season in which he was voted Anzhi's Player of the Year, ahead of former Barcelona and Inter Milan star Samuel Eto'o and ex-Chelsea winger Yury Zhirkov.
"I'm satisfied with my own performance in the Russian league but if there is an offer from Spain or England then I won't say no, I'd like to try out playing football in England and the team I favour the most is Arsenal," the Uzbek explained.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has confirmed sizeable transfer funds for Wenger but has also insisted the board will not second guess their manager. There have been reports of Arsenal pulling out over a deal for Belgian international Marouane Fellaini because of their unwillingness to meet a £23m release clause. By comparison, £6m for Ahmedov could be a bargain, unless, of course, Wenger tries to whittle that price down some more.