Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted no agreement has been struck with Zenit St Petersburg for Andrei Arshavin, nor have the club applied for a work permit.
Well-placed Sky Sports News sources understand that the Gunners have successfully applied for a work permit for long-term transfer target Arshavin.
Wenger, though, has played down the claims, while he reiterated that the North London club will not exceed their financial means in order to strengthen the squad.
Asked if Arsenal had agreed a fee with Zenit, the Frenchman declared: "No, and we have not applied for a work permit yet for Arshavin or anybody else.
"Whether we are close or not has little meaning - it does not matter how close you are, what is important is that you agree. At the moment, we have no agreement with anybody for any transfer.
"We are always confident, we try our best and respect our budget. If we can find an agreement, we will do it, if we cannot we will not overspend what we have planned to do."