Arsenal fans await Arshavin confirmation

Arsenal fans were this morning still waiting on official confirmation of the Gunners' bid to land Andrei Arshavin.

The move for the 27-year-old Zenit St Petersburg playmaker has turned out to be the most protracted of the transfer window, which was scheduled to close at 5pm yesterday - although with some special dispensation allowed following the adverse weather conditions.

It is understood an agreement between all parties over fees and personal terms were reached in time for the necessary paperwork to be submitted to the Premier League ahead of the deadline.

However, Arsenal have yet to confirm Arshavin is indeed their player.

Zenit, meanwhile, have chosen to conduct much of their negotiations in public.

In another development, an article on the club's official website now maintains the deal has been completed, although they have credited a Russian news agency for the story.

"Zenit, Arsenal and Andrei Arshavin have concluded talks in London," the report on www.fc-zenit.ru reads.

"An FC Zenit source has informed Fontanka that the talks were successful, and Andrei Arshavin is moving to Arsenal. The signed documents have already been sent to the English Football Association [Premier League].

"A source close to the discussions has told Fontanka that the terms of the deal are financially suitable to Zenit.

"The St Petersburg club will receive £16.5m - £15m for the transfer of the player and £1.5m compensation for breaking a long-term contract.

"In addition there is a further 500,000 Euros in bonuses which Arshavin has not yet received which will not be paid and instead make up part of the transfer sum.

"The overall sum of the transfer is around USD 24m [£16.9m]."

Should those figures eventually be ratified, then it would make the deal a transfer record for the Gunners.

Arshavin, who is reported to have been prepared to take a pay cut to join Arsenal, jetted into London yesterday for a medical to complete the deal and looks set to wear the number 13 shirt vacated by Alexander Hleb when he joined Barcelona last year.

Wenger has long been an admirer of the 27-year-old Russian international, who shot to prominence at Euro 2008 - and could hand Arshavin his debut in Sunday's north-London derby at Tottenham.

Arsenal currently lie five points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa after successive Barclays Premier League draws against Everton and West Ham.

Meanwhile, severe snow in the capital forced tonight's planned FA Cup fourth-round replay against Cardiff to be postponed, the tie now rearranged for Monday February 16.

Arshavin revealed on his personal website, www.arshavin.com, details of the deal should be announced later today.

It is believed all the relevant complex documentation is in place at the Premier League, but yet to be formally ratified because of administration delays caused by the severe snow that crippled London's transport networks yesterday.

Asked if he was now an Arsenal player, the Russian international said: "I think so. The negotiations came to a close and there will be details [on Tuesday].

"Now I can say only one thing - that if I play for Arsenal, it will be at number 23."

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