Wenger upbeat over Arshavin chase

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains hopeful of landing Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin before the transfer window shuts.

The Gunners have already seen one offer of £10million knocked back for the 27-year-old by Zenit St Petersburg, although they are understood to have returned with an improved deal. However, that is unlikely to be anywhere close to double that figure, which the Russian club are holding out for.

But Wenger, who is without captain Cesc Fabregas for around three months, said on Thursday: "I am very hopeful. There is time left in the transfer window because we have only crossed halfway."

He added: "We are not close to signing anybody, but there again, we are in negotiations, yes - but we want to respect our principles.

"But if it does not happen, it does not happen. There again, we want to continue to improve and focus and what we can continue to improve here with the players we have. I believe we have a strong team and we want to do the maximum with the team we have."

Meanwhile, Wenger also believes Manchester City's £100million move for AC Milan's Brazilian star Kaka would create a "disturbance" in the transfer market.

With the Manchester club bankrolled by the vast funds of owner Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi United Group, who took over in the summer, Wenger accepts that they, just like Chelsea in the past, operate outside the normal parameters.

"It does not look real to me at all. It is like an abstraction," said Wenger.

"It does not look in connection with today's world because on one side we have the economic situation which is quite worrying and for me this is abstraction.

"We live in a football club who lives in the real world. That means we spend the money we make from our income. The implications would be disturbance on the market, an inflationary trend in a deflationary world."

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