Verpakovskis decision next week
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Latvian star Maris Verpakovskis will decide his future next week when he arrives in England.
Reports have suggested that Arsenal were at the front of the queue to land his signature, but Yeovil manager Gary Johnson - who acts as advisor to the Latvian FA and their top side Skonto Riga - has denied this.
Johnson was manager of Latvia for three years, before moving back to England with Yeovil - but he still has very close links with the country.
The Glovers chief is now helping to broker the deal and will advice Verpakovskis on his future plans.
A number of clubs are now talking with Johnson about the Latvian - dubbed the 'new' Marian Pahars, after his two goals in the Euro 2004 play-off success over Turkey.
"A number of Premiership clubs are interested, Arsenal have watched him and Wolves had him on trial and might still be interested - but there were 10 or 12 clubs having a look at him last week," Johnson told skysports.com.
"Maris is coming to England next week and we will go over the plans with him and decide which clubs he wants to have a look at.
"He needs to go and have talks and see where he would be best suited to.
"Just because Arsenal might be interested, does not mean he will go there - he would consider going First Division if the club was right for him.
"He has a great deal of potential and would love to mirror what Marian has done in England.
"Maris is really the last Latvian player in the national team that needs to find a club, as the rest have found themselves clubs outside Latvia."
When asked whether Yeovil might raid the Latvian market, Johnson added: "We could not afford Maris, I wish we could.
"But that is something for the future, if we get where we want to go then maybe we can look at that.
"I would think we would have first refusal!" he joked.