Creamy explanation for Hleb's mysterious exit from Arsenal hotel
ALEXANDER Hleb did not hold talks with Internazionale earlier this month – instead he merely went for ice cream , according to people close to his agent, writes Jem Maidment. Speculation that the reigning Serie A champions are after the Belarus internati
ALEXANDER Hleb did not hold talks with Internazionale earlier this month - instead he merely went "for ice cream", according to people close to his agent, writes Jem Maidment.
Speculation that the reigning Serie A champions are after the Belarus international resurfaced this week with reports in both Italy and the UK claiming they have "tapped up" the Gunners midfielder.
An associate of Hleb's agent, Italian Claudio Vigorelli, did admit he and the player left the Arsenal team hotel and shared a taxi into Milan the night before this month's 2-0 Champions League win at AC Milan - but stressed reports they travelled to Inter's club offices in the city are wide of the mark.
Inter have been long-term suitors for Hleb, who moved to Highbury in the summer of 2005.
You may also want to watch:
But Arsene Wenger has grown increasingly angry at the speculation and is believed to be weighing up whether to make an official complaint to Uefa over Inter's alleged actions.
Vincenzo Morabito - who has dealings with Inter - was quoted as saying: "It's true that Hleb saw Vigorelli and they went out from the Melia Felix [hotel] but it's not true that they went to talk to Inter.
- 1 'Picture of health': Mum's tribute to son who died of sudden cardiac arrest
- 2 Police investigate reported rape of teenager
- 3 Tennis coach 'distraught' at losing Belsize role amid club row
- 4 London Zoo's aviary unwrapped to create new monkey home
- 5 The Vagina Museum searches for new home as Camden Market leases end
- 6 E-scooter rider arrested over suspected drug dealing
- 7 Clapped in the street - and assaulted: Staff call for behaviour change in A&E
- 8 Watchdog upholds 27 complaints over 'systemic' failures by Haringey Council
- 9 Piers Plowright: 'An extraordinary force, devoted to Hampstead'
- 10 Helen Allingham's Hampstead watercolour up for auction
"They went for an ice-cream. We are sorry that Mr Wenger took it badly and complained because we have a good relationship with him."
Hleb, who went on to put in a magnificent performance against AC Milan the following evening, has "history" in tapping-up allegations.
In early 2006, less than a year into his stay at Arsenal, he admitted he was unhappy and considering a move back to Germany, where he had starred for Bundesliga outfit VfB Stuttgart.
He even met with Hamburg director Michael Schroeder at a central London restaurant but Wenger was satisfied there was nothing untoward as his youger brother Vyacheslav used to play for the Baltic side.
Hleb's current contract runs out in the summer of 2009.
l Chelsea preview on page 46