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Arsene Wenger finally admits Arshavin deal is '90 per cent' done as Arsenal

29 January 2009 10:22
Arsenal

boss Arsene Wenger believes the deal to bring midfielder Andrei Arshavin to the Emirates Stadium is '90 per cent completed' but admits the final 10 per cent is the most difficult.

The Gunners chief had just seen Robin van Persie blast an injury-time equaliser last night at Goodison Park, with Everton

on the brink of victory following Tim Cahill's 100th career goal.

But with a vital point in the bag for the battle for fourth spot, Wenger revealed that the Arshavin deal is still in the balance.

Red or dead: Andrei Arshavin is '90 per cent' an Arsenal player



'There is nothing new on Arshavin, I have been concentrating on the game and not taking calls,' he said. 'But the deal is maybe 90 per cent completed. However, the final 10 per cent of any deal can be the most difficult.

'Maybe in the next two days. In this kind of job it can be difficult at this stage because people can change their minds completely.'

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Everton boss David Moyes had worries of a different kind, having seen his side squander possession in those dying seconds to give Arsenal their lifeline.

Steven Pienaar lost the ball deep in Arsenal's half, and Abou Diaby launched a 50-yard pass for Van Persie to convert.

Moyes said: 'In the end we should have run the ball into the corner rather than concede possession like that. We did not need to give them ball away in that situation.

Top gun: Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring Arsenal's late equaliser at Goodison Park



'We are disappointed we ended up with one point when we were so close to three. To concede a goal in the 93rd minute is hard to take after we had played so well.

'Overall we deserved the points. Now we have conceded a late goal to Arsenal not long after we did the same thing against Aston Villa, and that game we lost.

'We have been caught by very late goals by two of the teams we are challenging with for a place at the top of the table.

'But it is worth saying that it shows how far we have come when we are upset about only drawing with Arsenal.

Who's the boss: Everton's David Moyes (left) and his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger

'Those two points would have been crucial to us if we were really going to make a bid for a Champions League spot. That would have put us much close to the teams above us, and I feel Aston Villa will be the team who are more delighted with this result than either us or Arsenal.

'It is a long way to go to catch Villa or Arsenal now. But we are playing well enough to do that, we are showing confidence and we just lacked that little bit to finish them off. But good players like Van Persie can do that, he took his chance very well.'

Wenger conceded that the last-ditch equaliser has increased their chances of clinching fourth spot, and also holding off Everton's challenge.

He said: 'After the result last night (Villa winning at Portsmouth) we knew we could not afford to lose this game.

'It was a game of quality and we were playing against a good team, and we needed character to come back like that in injury-time.

'You cannot predict you will score that late, but I knew the team would keep going and we have shown that again.

'It was very important not to lose. We needed to keep Everton at a distance from us, and three points would have put them very close to us.

'Van Persie's finish was an exceptional one. But when you see the ball dropping like that towards his left foot, you always think that he can hit the target. He will make the keeper work, he will never out the ball into the stands from a position like that.'

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Source: Daily_Mail