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SPORT IN BRIEF

<strong>Zhirkov plays down surgery fear</strong><br />CHELSEA winger Yuri Zhirkov has denied reports he needs an operation to cure the knee problem that has prevented him making his Premier League bow.<br /><br />Zhirkov is not expected to return before the Blues face Burnley on Saturday week, but the Russian summer signing said suggestions of surgery &ldquo;don&rsquo;t correspond to reality&rdquo;.<br /><br /><strong>Walcott comeback still on ice</strong><br />ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger admits he does not know whether winger Theo Walcott will be back for their crunch trip to Manchester United on 29 August.<br /><br />Walcott has missed the Gunners&rsquo; first two games of the season, and Wenger said of the United game: &ldquo;We will see. It is always difficult to set a date. But we believe it is a question of days not weeks.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>Aguero happy to remain in Spain</strong><br />ATLETICO MADRID striker Sergio Aguero has ruled out a &pound;40m move to the Premier League, insisting he wants to stay with the Spanish club.<br /><br />Aguero is now cup-tied for European competition after playing, and scoring, in the Champions League qualifying victory over Panathinaikos on Wednesday.<br /><br />And the Argentine says he never wanted to leave, amid reports of interest from Manchester United and Chelsea. He said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always said I wanted to stay at and this is what has happened.&rdquo;