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 Arshavin seals Arsenal move

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KomentarNaslov komentara: Arshavin seals Arsenal move   Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:10 pm

Andrei Arshavin has officially completed his transfer from Zenit St Petersburg to Arsenal, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Gunners.

The Russia international passed a medical and agreed personal terms with Arsenal on Monday, but the switch to Emirates Stadium was not sealed until the day after the deadline, following delayed ratification from the Premier League.

The move follows a hugely protracted saga which included lengthy negotiations between the Gunners and Zenit over the attacker's fee, with the Uefa Cup holders pushing for a lump sum of Ł15million.

Arshavin and Zenit were also in talks over a final payment that threatened to scupper the move, but the deal has now been rubber-stamped after the matter was resolved and the paperwork finalised on Tuesday.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Russian international midfielder Andrei Arshavin has joined the Gunners from Zenit St Petersburg on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee."

And Arshavin said: "I am happy to be here. I became a Gunner some time ago and I'm happy now. I will do my best."

It had been hoped the talented schemer could make his Arsenal debut against bitter North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 & HD1, as the club seek to break back into the top four.

But Arsenal's new No.23 cast some doubt over whether he will be ready to be thrown into Premier League action so swiftly.

He said: "I must be ready by Friday or Saturday, but I am not fit now. It will be decided by Arsene (Wenger) if I can play or not."

Arshavin admitted the protracted deal had been a testing time, but he was happy the saga had finally been concluded.

He added: "It was very hard days for me, but now it doesn't matter, now I am a Gunner, that is what is important."
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