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With just hours to go before the closure of the winter
With just hours to go before the closure of the winter transfer window, there are conflicting reports as to whether or not Russian international Andrei Arshavin will sign for Arsenal.

Media reports said the Zenit St. Petersburg player was in a hotel near London on Monday morning preparing to take a medical prior to signing a deal that would see him become an Arsenal player.

However, Sky Sports reported in the last few hours that the deal had fallen through over details of the contract, the price of the player's move, and Arshavin's agent's fees. They said that Arshavin had left his hotel and was heading for a London airport.

In a further twist to the long-running saga, Zenit St. Petersburg director Maxim Mitrofanov told Radio Zenit on Monday that the deal was close to completion.

"Talks are still continuing, mainly among the Arsenal board of directors. They only occasionally get back to us to clarify certain details," he said. "Arsenal have a very good chance of coming to an agreement over the purchase of Arshavin."

"However, as we said earlier, for the move to go through two things have to happen: The transfer fee must be no less than 15 million pounds [around $21 million], and the financial obligations to Zenit must be fulfilled by either the player or by the club for him," he added.

Sovetski Sport said on Friday that to ensure his move to Arsenal would go ahead Arshavin had agreed to pay back Zenit St. Petersburg half of a $5 million bonus he received for signing a 4-year contract in 2006.

The paper cited sources "close to the player." It is understood that the money would be added to the 15 million pounds [$21.5 million] that Arsenal have offered for the 27-year-old St. Petersburg native.

Arshavin emerged from the shadows of Russian soccer last summer after unexpectedly leading the national side to the semi-finals of Euro 2008.

The transfer window closes today at 17:00 GMT. However, the deadline may be extended due to the snowy weather that has paralyzed much of Britain.

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