Arshavin to wear number 23 shirt for Gunners

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
The Andrei Arshavin saga finally over!

Arshavin claims he has been given squad number 23 by Arsenal

Arsenal have finally put an end to one of the most tedious transfer sagas in history by wrapping up a move for Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin from Zenit St. Petersburg for around £10-12 million.

The deal is expected to be confirmed officially later today after the neccessary paperwork was faxed to the Premier League yesterday evening in time for the 5pm deadline.

The transfer, (for reasons not yet known), couldn’t be processed last night, but it appears that Arshavin passed a medical at Arsenal yesterday, and will wear the number 23 shirt.

Arshavin’s Official website has an update from yesterday with a response about the move to north London. It quotes Arshavin as saying:

“The negotiations [have] come to a close, the details [will be released] tomorrow. Now I can say only one thing – if I play for Arsenal, then [I will be] number 23.”

So Arshavin has been handed the number 23 shirt by the Gunners – the number made vacant by Sol Campbell’s move to Portsmouth three years ago.

As the 5pm Monday transfer deadline approached, hundreds of stories were published – many of which contradicted each other – so it will come as a big relief for Arsenal fans that a deal has finally been struck for the 27-year-old. He has agreed a £70,000-a-week, three-and-a-half year contract at The Emirates.

The Arshavin saga has been going on for weeks, if not months. The image below, a screenshot taken from a news syndication website, demonstrates how confusing last night and indeed the whole transfer window has been for Arsenal fans, with the same sources continuously publishing contradicting stories one after the other:

The Andrei Arshavin saga finally over!

But it would seem that Arsenal have finally landed their man after weeks of speculation – and it’s news that will be welcomed by Arsenal fans. An official statement is expected later today.

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