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Wenger still hopeful of signing Arshavin

  • Story Highlights
  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains hopeful of signing Andrei Arshavin
  • Arshavin's club Zenit St Petersburg have already turned down a bid for player
  • The London club's record signing is Sylvain Wiltord for $20 million in 2000
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(CNN) -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains hopeful of signing Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin from UEFA Cup holders Zenit St Petersburg before the January transfer window shuts.

Zenit St Petersburg have already turned down Arsenal's initial bid for Arshavin.

Zenit St Petersburg have already turned down Arsenal's initial bid for Arshavin.

The Gunners have already seen one offer of $15 million knocked back for the 27-year-old, although the Premier League club 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.

With Inter Milan also said to be in the race for Arshavin, who shot to prominence at Euro 2008, Arsenal -- whose record transfer fee is the $ 20 million paid for Sylvain Wiltord in 2000 -- could find themselves priced out of the market.

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Wenger, though, remains pragmatic about the whole situation. "We are not close to signing anybody. We are in negotiations, but we want to respect our principles," the Arsenal manager told a news conference on Thursday.

"I am very hopeful. There is time left in the transfer window because we have only crossed halfway -- but if it does not happen, it does not happen. I believe we have a strong team and we want to do the maximum with the team we have."

Wenger added: "Do not forget that we have Rosicky, Fabregas and Walcott, who are all creative players, out injured. They will come back at some stage and that will feel like new signings for us."

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