Arsene Wenger says he is “confident” that Arsenal will sign Andrei Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg before the end of the current transfer window.
However, the Arsenal manager denied reports that a deal has already been completed for the Russian playmaker, 27, or that a work permit had been applied for and granted.
“We are always confident, we try our best, if we can find an agreement, we will do it,” said Wenger.
“No deal has been done and we have not applied for a work permit yet.
“Whether we are close or not has little meaning – it does not matter how close you are, what is important is that you agree. At the moment, we have no agreement with anybody for any transfer.”
Manchester City and Italian champions Inter are also reported to be interested in the midfielder.
Zenit St Petersburg have said they are willing to sell the player at the right price but Arsenal will not increase their offer of £12m plus bonuses for the 27-year-old.
Wenger said he would like to get a deal sorted out before the end of January but he is aware time is running out.
“These kind of stories sometimes develop in the last minute on the final day of the transfer window. It is very difficult to predict,” he said.
“I can only give you the way we think on our side. I cannot give you what other people think.”