By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger admits he is no closer to signing Andrei Arshavin - but he is hopeful of completing a deal for the Russian international.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with the Zenit St. Petersburg playmaker in recent weeks as Wenger looks to bolster his squad in the wake of long-term injuries to Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky.

Reports this week claimed that Arsenal have had a bid for Arshavin turned down and Wenger was asked for the latest developments when he faced the media at his pre-match press conference.

"[We are] nowhere. That means we are not close to signing anybody," he said.

"We know what we want to do, but we are not close to signing today because I would tell you. But there is no basic news. There again, we are in negotations yes but we want to respect our principles.

"I am very hopeful [of a deal]. We will know in days because the transfer window closes on February 2 and we have only crossed halfway.

"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. There again, we want to continue to improve here with the players we have."

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15 Jan 2009