Arshavin claims he's an Arsenal player

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The Independent Football

Andrei Arshavin remains hopeful he will soon be able to pull on an Arsenal shirt with Zenit St Petersburg claiming a £15m deal was completed before the transfer deadline - and even says he has been given a squad number.

The move for the 27-year-old playmaker has turned out to be the most protracted of the 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.

However, Arsenal have yet to confirm Arshavin is their player while the Premier League have revealed there are a number of transfers which are continuing to be examined and approved by its board because of administration delays caused by the severe snow which crippled London's transport networks yesterday.

Arshavin, though, has revealed on his personal website,, details of the completed deal should be announced later today.

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."

Unlike the Gunners, whose club policy is to never directly comment on transfer speculation, Zenit have chosen to publicly reveal details of the negotiations.

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 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 [£450,000] 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 US Dollars 24m [£16.9m]."

Should those figures prove correct and the deal is 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 is understood to have now returned to Russia to complete some personal arrangements before starting work at his new club.

Wenger has long been an admirer of the 27-year-old Russia international, who shot to prominence at Euro 2008.

While Arshavin could make his debut in Sunday's north London derby at Tottenham, given the Russian domestic season finished in November, the player is more likely to be allowed some time to build-up full match fitness.

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 16 February.