Arsenal hit Arshavin impasse

Gunners remain at odds with Zenit over proposed fee for Russian playmaker

Zenit St Petersburg remain determined to stand firm on their asking price as Arsenal continue their pursuit of Andrei Arshavin. Arsène Wenger was hoping to complete a deal for the Russian playmaker ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round trip to Cardiff.

However, any plans to blood the new signing at Ninian Park on Sunday look to have been scuppered as Zenit will not budge from their demand for £20m for the player. While it is clear the Russians are resigned to losing the player, it will only be if the price is right.

With Arsenal, whose record transfer fee paid is £13m, having so far refused to match that figure – with them looking to lay out around £12m plus add-ons – the clubs appear to be at an impasse, although Zenit have indicated an improved cash bid up to £15m would secure the player's services.

It has even been suggested Arshavin, 27, could be willing to invoke new Fifa legislation and eventually buy himself out of the remainder of his contract later in the year should an agreement for his transfer not be reached this month. Arsenal have so far not made any official comment, other than Wenger revealing negotiations were ongoing.

The Premier League club are, though, understood to have set a deadline of Monday one way or another for what has turned out to be the most protracted saga of the January transfer window.

While Wenger has indicated he does have other targets, one of which is reported to be West Ham's former Gunners defender Matthew Upson as well as Le Mans' Ivory Coast striker Gervinho, it now seems almost certain there will be no fresh faces brought in before the squad depart for Wales.

Given their position in the Premier League – still outside the top four and six points behind new leaders Manchester United, who have a game in hand – the FA Cup may well now present Arsenal's most likely source of silverware this season. The Gunners, whose last trophy came when they beat United on penalties to win the famous old knockout competition in 2005, are likely to name a strong side for the game with Cardiff, finalists at Wembley last season.

While striker Robin van Persie has already warned his team-mates to expect a hot reception at Ninian Park, one player who should feel right at home will be young midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The Wales international, who turned 18 on Boxing Day, came up through the Cardiff youth ranks before joining the Gunners in a £5m deal during the summer.

Wenger feels Ramsey – who netted his first Arsenal goal in the 5-2 Champions League victory at Fenerbahce – has come a long way in a short time. "He has not only made the step up from the Championship to the Premier League, but also to a Premier League team that wants to be at the top and who fights in the Champions League, and that means it is a massive difference at such a young age," Wenger told the official Arsenal magazine. "I believe he did extremely well because he has drive and he can push the team forward. He is always available, he wants the ball and he is very dynamic in his play.

"Overall I am very pleased with his progress because I must say that he is ahead of where I planned for him to be in January. You have to remember though that he is still only just 18 years of age and you need to be a little bit patient with him. He has shown that every time we have picked him, he has responded in a very positive way."

Full-back Gaël Clichy will be suspended for Sunday's televised encounter after picking up a fifth caution in last week's 3-1 Premier League win at Hull.

Striker Eduardo, meanwhile, is set to continue his rehabilitation from a broken leg with another run-out for the reserves at Stoke tonight. However, the FA Cup tie is expected to be too soon for the Croatian's first-team return.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?