Premier League – Wenger: Arshavin deal close

Eurosport

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said the deal to bring midfielder Andrei Arshavin to the Emirates Stadium is “90 per cent completed” – but admits the final 10 per cent is the most difficult.

FOOTBALL 2008 World Cup qual. Germany-Russia Arshavin - 0

The Gunners chief had just seen Robin van Persie blast an injury-time equaliser at Goodison Park, with Everton on the brink of victory following Tim Cahill‘s 100th career goal.

But with a vital point in the bag for the battle for the fourth Champions League spot, Wenger revealed that the Arshavin deal is still in the balance.

He said: “There is nothing new on Arshavin: I have been concentrating on the game and not taking calls.

“But the deal is maybe 90 per cent completed. However, the final 10 per cent of any deal can be the most difficult.

“Maybe in the next two days (it will be done)… In this kind of job it can be difficult at this stage because people can change their minds completely.”

Meanwhile, Wenger conceded that the last-ditch equaliser has increased Arsenal’s chances of clinching fourth spot, and also holding off Everton’s challenge.

He said: “After the result last night (Villa winning at Portsmouth) we knew we could not afford to lose this game.

“It was a game of quality and we were playing against a good team, and we needed character to come back like that in injury-time.

“You cannot predict you will score that late, but I knew the team would keep going and we have shown that again.

“It was very important not to lose. We needed to keep Everton at a distance from us, and three points would have put them very close to us.

“Van Persie’s finish was an exceptional one. But when you see the ball dropping like that towards his left foot, you always think that he can hit the target.

“He will make the keeper work, he will never put the ball into the stands from a position like that.”

Sporting Life / Eurosport

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