I am so, so confused.
First of all, let me just put a little disclaimer out there right now saying that anyone who claims to know what is going on in the Andrei Arshavin negotiations is almost certainly lying. For the most part, it’s all guesswork.
The one concrete thing we do have is a statement from Zenit St. Petersburg, translated by the ever reliable Dublin Adam, which reads thus:
Discussions About the Transfer of Andrei Arshavin Continue
Discussions between Zenit and Arsenal about the transfer of Andrei Arshavin are continuing. An agreement in principal has been reached between the clubs on terms that are acceptable to both parties and represent the real market value of the player.
At the current moment, the main obstacle in completing the deal is the personal demands of Andrei Arshavin. The player and his agent are demanding from the London club wages which the management of Arsenal are not prepared to pay the footballer, and at present Arsenal have agreed only to his demands subject to the reduction of his transfer value.
For his part, Andrei Arshavin does not intend to enter into a contract that will mean a reduction and it is this that is delaying the process and adds doubt to the agreement that has been reached between the two clubs.
Zenit are not abandoning their intentions to sell the player, negotiations are continuing and Zenit have even offered a route out of this difficult situation. One possible solution to reduce the transfer price of Arshavin could be the payment of a compensation fee by the player to the club for failing to fulfil his 4-year contract. In 2006 as part of signing a new deal with Zenit, the player demanded a once-off signing payment in the region of €5m. If his contract was now to be cut short, Arshavin could return half of the sum (€2.5m) to the clubs and this could be considered as part of his transfer fee.
This article has led to speculation that Arshavin has asked for exorbitant wages of around £135,000 p/week, as well as being taken by the English press as confirmation that a fee has been agreed and the player’s demands are the only thing preventing a deal.
Well, I would imagine that’s exactly how Zenit want it to look.
In recent days, we have had both Zenit and Arshavin’s agent suggest that personal terms on the deal were already sorted – Arshavin has been authorised to negotiate directly with clubs since the Summer.
Throw in the fact that Arsenal this morning denied a fee had been agreed, and my guess would be that the situation has barely changed at all: the central dispute in the transfer remains the fact that neither club is willing to pay Dennis Lachter his €3m-or-so agent’s fee.
Zenit, knowing that we had set them a deadline of last night to agree terms, have released this hurried statement saying a deal is agreed “in principle”, citing the “personal demands” of Arshavin as the sole stumbling block. They’re then asking him for about €2.5m in cash – a sum that would, handily, almost cover Lachter’s demands.
That’s my reading of the situation. But like everyone else at this stage, it’s just a guess. Zenit manager Dick Advocaat seems to be in the dark too, but he expects some news today:
“I think there will be news on Tuesday. I am constantly in touch with (club general director) Maxim Mitrofanov and I look forward to the latest news.”
Arsene has a press conference today, which will doubtless tell us nothing.
The fact is that Arshavin is desperate to move, and whatever the demands of his agent, it’s worth remembering that his agent works for him – not the other way round. This isn’t a Tevez/Joorabchian situation where the latter owns the former’s registration. Lachter’s job is to get Arshavin what he wants.
It seems that in this transfer Lachter has been authorised to act on behalf of Zenit by negotiating directly with clubs. Therefore any fee due to the agent ought to be paid by Zenit. Not by Arshavin, and certainly not by Arsenal.
Personal terms are surely already agreed, and the finer details of that contract will be decided in person. If a fee had been arrived at, Arshavin would have left Zenit’s training camp in the UAE and be jetting in for a medical.
Until that happens, the situation hasn’t really changed.
Less than a week left. Thank God.