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Zenit, Arsenal agree on Arshavin transfer fee, talks continue


MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) - Zenit St. Petersburg said on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached with Arsenal on a transfer fee for Andrei Arshavin, but that the player's demands were holding up the conclusion of the deal.

Arsenal had set a deadline of January 26 for the conclusion of talks on a deal to bring the 27-year-old forward to London, and a statement on Zenit's official website indicated that the clubs had at last reached a common position.

"Talks between FC Zenit and London's Arsenal are continuing," the statement read. "The clubs have reached a basic agreement on the transfer of the player on terms acceptable to both sides and that meet the real market price of the player."

"The main obstacle to the realization of the deal has become Andrei Arshavin's personal requirements. The player and his agent have demanded from the London club wages that Arsenal are unwilling to pay," the statement went on.

The statement also said that Arsenal would only agree to pay Arshavin the reported $150,000 a week he earns in St Petersburg if the transfer fee was lowered. Zenit also suggested that Arshavin could pay the club compensation for the termination of his four-year contract, signed in 2006. Arshavin was paid 5 million euros when he signed a new contract with Zenit, and the Russian club has proposed that he return half of this sum.

Arshavin was linked with a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Tottenham, in the summer after leading Russia to the semifinals of Euro 2008. However, Gazprom-controlled Zenit subsequently turned down a number of offers, reportedly in excess of $30 million, for the player as "too low." They have since dropped their asking price, and reports suggest that the sum agreed on with Arsenal is around $24 million.

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