Gazidis plays down Arshavin 'drama'

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis feels the protracted transfer of Andrei Arshavin has been overly “dramatised”.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis feels the protracted transfer of Andrei Arshavin has been overly “dramatised”.

Confirmation the Russia international had completed his move to the Gunners was not officially announced by the Barclays Premier League club until late on Tuesday afternoon – almost 24 hours after the transfer deadline.

Despite the authorities having now rubbed-stamped the move – with the Premier League insisting the deal between Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg was done “substantively” ahead of the window closing – the issue is set to be raised at a meeting of the 20 member clubs in central London today.

The Gunners, however, maintain all procedures were followed correctly, with Arshavin scheduled to return to England once the formalities of his work permit application have been completed to begin life as an Arsenal player.

Gazidis only formally took up his position earlier this month following a successful stint as the deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer in the United States.

The South Africa-born Oxford graduate was glad to have finally seen the Gunners’ only first-team transfer completed.

“We probably bored everybody, and I think everyone got a bit tired of the on-going story,” Gazidis told Arsenal TV Online.

“It took longer than anybody would have wanted to get to a conclusion, but we got there in the end.

“People dramatise these things a little bit.

“It was never on until it finally got done, but it was not on and off through the day either.

“Certainly it went closer to the deadline than I would have liked, but sometimes you have to do that to finally push it over the finish line.”

Arsenal travel to north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday, when they could be further behind their challengers for a top-four finish.

Arshavin, though, is not expected to feature at White Hart Lane as he builds up match fitness following the end of the Russian domestic season in November.

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