Arsenal have agreed a deal with Zenit St Petersburg for Andrei Arshavin, according to the Russian club, but a transfer is still some way from being concluded after the player increased his personal demands.
The Gunners have been locked in talks with Zenit for some time over the services of the 27-year-old Russia international, who shone at Euro 2008.
Zenit insisted it had reduced its original £17m valuation of the player by £3m but was now seeking a one-off payment from him, as cited in Arshavin’s £100,000-a-week contract, to make up the shortfall.
That, in turn, appears to have prompted Arshavin to seek better terms from Arsenal which could yet scupper the transfer. The Russian club implied that Arshavin, facing the prospect of making a compensation payment of about £3m to Zenit to smooth his departure, is now effectively attempting to secure that money back from Arsenal with a higher wage.
“A fundamental agreement over the fee in the transfer of the player has been reached between the clubs, subject to a medical,” said Zenit.
“But, at the moment, the basic obstacle preventing the transfer going through are Andrei Arshavin’s personal terms. The player and his agent have made it clear to Arsenal that they will require a higher wage, which the management at Arsenal are not prepared to pay.
“At the moment, Arsenal will only satisfy those demands at a lower transfer fee. This puts the whole deal in doubt.”
There remains the possibility Arsenal may abandon their pursuit, particularly as Tomas Rosicky returned to light training yesterday after a year-long absence with hamstring tendon injury.
The Czech is still some way off a first-team return, and Arsene Wenger has suggested he may not play this season.
“But it is a huge and positive advance in his situation,” said the player’s agent, Pavel Paska.