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Serie A season preview: AS Roma

AS Roma 9 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 5, 2009

Andrei Arshavin Timeline

Andrei Arshavin's move to Arsenal proved to be the most drawn out saga of the January transfer window. Here's how the drama unfolded.

January 6: Zenit St Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat seems resigned to losing his star man, with Arsenal looking the most likely destination.

January 7: Arshavin's agent Dennis Lachter maintains Zenit, who want £20m for the Russian playmaker, must lower their demands to make any deal happen.

January 14: Arsenal are understood to have tabled an initial £10moffer, which is rejected by Zenit.

January 22: Arshavin declares Arsenal are his "team of the future'', while Zenit general director Maksim Mitrofanov maintains the deal is "moving and we hope that it will lead to its logical conclusion.''

January 23: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger calls for Arsenal fans to continue to trust his judgement as pressure mounts for the Gunners seal the Arshavin deal. "I believe in my players and in my team. Whether someone comes in or not, that does not change my belief,'' he said.

January 26: Zenit release a statement claiming personal terms are the stumbling block.

January 27: Wenger claimed the on-going saga was "of little interest'' as he focused on the Premier League trip to Everton. He said: "It is not true a fee has been agreed. We are not close to concluding any transfer, Arshavin or anybody else. For me, it is of little interest.''

January 31: Following Arsenal's goalless draw with West Ham, Wenger maintains his team do not need an "instant saviour'' in the form of Arshavin or anyone else. He said: "There is always a danger that people always want a wonder man, but I do not believe in that.''

February 2: Arshavin is pictured at a Hertfordshire hotel having flown in from Russia on a private jet to complete the transfer. However, the 5pm deadline passes without any official confirmation from either Arsenal or the Premier League, who allowed some special dispensation following administration delays caused by the bad weather. A Zenit spokesman appears on Russian TV claiming negotiations have broken down and the player is on his way back home.

February 3: With still no official confirmation from England, Zenit post an article on their website claiming the transfer had been completed.

"The club will receive £16.5million - £15million for the transfer of the player and £1.5million compensation for breaking a long-term contract. In addition there is a further 500,000 euros in bonuses which Arshavin has not yet received which will not be paid and instead make up part of the transfer sum.''

Just before 5pm, Arsenal finally release official confirmation Arshavin is now their player.

He said: "I am so happy to be joining Arsenal. They are one of the leading football clubs in the world, with a group of fantastic young players and a great manager.''

The Premier League issue a statement claiming they are satisfied the deal had been "substantively completed prior to the close of the January transfer window'', as questions are raised about why the move took so long to be ratified.

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