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Football: Alex Hleb may still play for BATE against Arsenal in Europa League

Alex Hleb. Reuters image

FC BATE is in talks with Alex Hleb, 37 who rant out of contract with the Borisov side last year, BATE's new CEO Andrei Kapski told Pressball. Last season, Hleb helped BATE reach the knockouts stage at the Europa League. The Belarusian side will host Hleb's former club Arsenal London on 14 February at Borisov Arena. The return leg will take place at the Emirates stadium on 21 February.

On 30 December, Hleb appeared on the state TV channel Belarus 1 and said his plan was to continue playing in a new season. He was not sure though if he would be able to sign a new contract with BATE. "I need to talk with the club. The wishes of the both sides should match. Hence, it is hard to answer [if I play against Arsenal]," Hleb said.

BATE CEO Andrei Kapski said in an interview with Pressball: "We are in talks. Hleb is making up his mind. But nobody is against him playing the epic match against Arsenal at the Emirates. Later, he will have to decide if he feels he is strong enough to complete a full season or continue his career and living in some other way. We are not pushing Alex or insisting. It has to be his decision - a well thought-out one."