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Arshavin completes $24M Arsenal move

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  • Andrey Arshavin's transfer to Arsenal finally gets Premier League clearance
  • Arsenal reported to be paying club record $24m for Zenit St. Petersburg star
  • Chelsea clinch last-minute loan signing of Ricardo Quresma from Inter Milan
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(CNN) -- Andrey Arshavin's protracted transfer from Zenit St. Petersburg to Arsenal for a reported £16.5 million ($23.59m) fee was finally confirmed on Tuesday by the Premier League club.

Arshavin has completed his move to Arsenal having made his mark with both Zenit and Russia.

Arshavin has completed his move to Arsenal having made his mark with both Zenit and Russia.

The 27-year-old Russian international, linked with the Gunners throughout the transfer window, has signed "a long-term contract" and could make his debut in Sunday's north London derby at Tottenham.

Manager Arsène Wenger told the Arsenal web site: that Arshavin "is a player I have admired for a long time."

Wenger added: "He is a versatile player with great experience, who will add real quality to our squad. Andrey is an exciting impact player with a huge amount of ability and has been an influential force with both Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national team in recent seasons."

Arshavin, clutching his new No. 23 shirt, faced fans outside the Emirates once the deal had been ratified by the Premier League.

"I am so happy to be joining Arsenal," he told the Web site. "They are one of the leading football clubs in the world, with a group of fantastic young players and a great manager.

"I am looking forward to making the Arsenal supporters happy and helping this great club win trophies."

The transfer could not be processed before Monday's 5pm deadline, but it was reported that the necessary paperwork was submitted in time, allowing the move to be officially completed.

The signing of Arshavin was the only major deal completed by Arsenal in the January window and the fee for the player is believed to be between £12-15 million pounds, which would be a club record.

Wenger will be hoping Arshavin can show the form which underpinned Russia's superb performances in Euro 2008 and Zenit's triumph in the UEFA Cup final against Glasgow Rangers last May. What do you think of this year's transfers? Have your say

Arshavin was identified early on as the club's number one target as Wenger looked to compensate for the losses of long-term injury absentees Cesc Fabregas, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott.

Wenger, who prefers to develop talent rather than rely on big money transfers, said at the weekend that he was not looking for an "instant savior" but has moved after his side slipped five points off the top four and Champions League qualification.

Arsenal's home FA Cup fourth round replay with Cardiff was called off on Tuesday due to poor weather, but the domestic cup competition and the Champions League appear their best hope of honors this season.

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Meanwhile, one late deal which was completed saw Chelsea sign Portugal international winger Ricardo Quaresma on loan from Inter Milan until the end of the season.

Quaresma, a member of Portugal's Euro 2008 squad when Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was in charge, endured an unhappy spell with the Serie A champions after being signed by Jose Mourinho at the start of the season.

The 25-year-old was also Chelsea's only signing of the January transfer window and he will join a five-strong Portuguese contingent at the west London club.

Queresma had looked set to join city rivals Tottenham, with reports suggesting England midfielder Jermaine Jenas would move the other way, but he opted for Chelsea at the last minute.

Scolari will hope he shows the form which made Inter pay Porto nearly $24 million to secure his services and will give him an extra wide option after the long-term injury to Joe Cole.

Chelsea, once the big-spenders in the transfer market with the backing of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, dropped five points behind leaders Manchester United with a 2-0 loss in the Premier League on Sunday to Liverpool, but are still in the FA Cup and Champions League.

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