arsenal news

Negotiations progress over Arshavin deal

January 9, 2009

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that negotiations aimed at bringing Zenit St Petersburg forward Andrei Arshavin to the club are progressing well.

Arshavin has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium this month and it was reported earlier this week that talks had begun over the transfer of the Russian forward, who could cost up to £20million.

Wenger, refused to rule out a move for Arshavin last week but remained coy when asked about whether the 27-year-old was close to signing for the Gunners.

''We do not want to talk too much about who we want to buy,'' Wenger told Arsenal TV online. ''At the moment I cannot give you any good news but in this job no news is good news. Nothing has fallen through. We are on alert in the transfer market.''

He also hinted that he was also in the market for a defensive midfielder to bolster his injury-hit squad.

''That is also a priority,'' he said. ''We are not in the big league. We are a little short because we wanted a player like (Tomas) Rosicky to play 80% of games and he has not played at all.

''We want to spend money but as everyone knows, and as the the chairman has said, we have money available but we have limited resources, and you want to spend it in the best way possible.''

The Frenchman also quashed rumours that Kolo Toure, who recently retracted a transfer request, could leave the Emirates and was adamant that nobody will leave the club this month.

''That (Toure story) is finished. We will not sell any players this month.''

Meanwhile, Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani is set to remain with the club despite reports linking him with a move to Arsenal this month.

The 24-year-old is close to extending his contract with the Serie A outfit, with his current deal ending in June 2009, according to his agent Franco Zavaglia.

''We are very close to reaching an agreement with Roma,'' said Zavaglia. ''There are still minor points to clarify but I believe the agreement will be sealed by the beginning of February.''

The Italy international is set to sign a four-year contract extension with the capital club.