Gunners continue Arshavin chase

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Arsenal look to be closing in on their pursuit of Russia international Andrei Arshavin - provided they can overcome the hurdle of the "unacceptable" fee demanded by Zenit St Petersburg, according to the player's agent.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has made the 27-year-old his number one target, but the Barclays Premier League club will not be held to ransom.

It had been reported the two parties were close to an agreement, with Arsenal understood to have returned with an improved £12million offer which also includes add-ons, while Zenit coach Dick Advocaat claimed a move was indeed imminent.

An Arsenal delegation is said to have travelled to St Petersburg in an attempt thrash out the final details of what has become a protracted saga.

However, the Russians - who made it to the Champions League for the first time this season - are demanding a hefty cash down-payment closer to £20million.

Arshavin's representative Dennis Lachter suggested any talk of a done deal was premature.

"We still have time, but unfortunately at the moment there is nothing to say about quick movement or new developments," Lachter told sports news website

"Definitely money is still the sticking point. I think Zenit is still asking for an unacceptable amount of money, they are still playing very tough."

Whether or not Arsenal will meet the demands of the Russians and break their £13million transfer record remains to be seen - with Wenger playing things cool at the end of last week, suggesting the time it would take for Arshavin to adapt to the English game could well come into play when he considered any deal.

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