Last week, Andrei Arshavin’s agent, Dennis Lachter, claimed that his client would be moving this week. Inevitably, that hasn’t happened, and he now insists the move will go ahead next week.
I find that unlikely, and this transfer is a classic case of one that will run until deadline day, as it simply isn’t in anyone’s interest to bring it forward.
It is clear that, so far, we are the only club in for the player, and since Zenit are already resigned to losing him, the closer we get the deadline day the more their hand is forced into accepting a bid. It is a similar situation to the Berbatov saga from the summer, although United ended up paying more than they intended to avoid a tapping up claim from Spurs. But the point remains – close to the deadline, we could probably raise our offer from 10m to around 12-14m and get him.
But it isn’t in Zenit’s interest to sell him quickly either, unless they receive an over the top bid, which won’t come from us. The longer they leave us hanging, the more chance another club will come in and usurp us with a higher offer, especially if that club’s previous targets had failed to arrive. If City move their sights from Kaka to others, they will eventually come round to the Russian, and would surely outbid us. It is therefore in Zenit’s interest to wait for that to happen.
So don’t expect anything to happen next week, or the week after that. The deadline is the night of February 2, since the end of the month falls at the weekend, so I would be surprised to see Arshavin move before January is out. It would not suit anyone to get the deal moving any quicker – right now we are in a stand off that will be ended only by the deadline or a richer club.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Kaka leads City a merry dance for the next fortnight.