Arsenal still confident of signing Arshavin

February 3rd, 2009 - 1:28 pm ICT by IANS  

ArsenalLondon, Feb 3 (DPA) Arsenal remained hopeful of signing forward Andrei Arshavin despite claims from the player’s owners Zenit St Petersburg that the deal was off.The saga has been the most protracted of the transfer window, but sources within Arsenal insist all the necessary paperwork was filed before the transfer deadline.

Even an hour and a half after the 5 p.m. deadline, though, there was no official confirmation that the Russia international has completed his move.

And doubts as to whether it can be completed were exacerbated when Alexei Petrov, a spokesman for Zenit, said: “The deal didn’t happen. Arshavin is coming back to Zenit.”

The deal had seemed in jeopardy earlier in the day as the Russia international left his Hertfordshire hotel, apparently heading for an airport after talks on personal terms broke down.

“We’re very disappointed,” a source close to Arshavin was quoted as saying in the Guardian.

“A deal has been worked on for nine months. First it was Tottenham last summer, now Arsenal.”

“What has been the problem with this deal? Money as always. The Russians are (unrealistic) and how can Arsenal offer less than 15 million pounds ($21.4 million) and half of Arshavin’s contract?

“Who would take another job for half the money? Arsenal have been making big waves by saying this would be the big historic transfer in the history of the Gunners. Well, it’s bull. They thought they could pull this off by saying we are a big club, this is a nice country, all that stuff.

“But he’s not a 16-year-old from Africa. The life in England is more expensive - a car, a house, it’s all more expensive in London, and he has to bring his family. He has one kid who is three years old, another who is one year old. It’s ridiculous.”

Snow delayed his departure, though, and after a fee was apparently agreed between the two clubs about an hour before the deadline, he reportedly accepted an estimated 30 per cent cut in salary.

The final sticking point seems to be a fee Zenit are claiming from Arshavin, understood to be part of is signing on fee.

“Arsenal don’t realise just how good a player they have bought,” Zenit manager Dick Advocaat told Sky Sports, apparently believing the deal to have been done. “He will be a sensation. He’s worth more than Arsenal have paid for him.”

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