Does Wenger have a plan B?

It was to be expected, wasn’t it?

The Andrei Arshavin deal is stalling as Zenit St Petersburg look for more money than the current market suggests their star is worth.

Whether they’re playing a waiting game in case Manchester City decide they fancy Arshavin having lost out on Kaka.

I admire Arsenal for not allowing themselves to be drawn into unrealistic negotiations as Zenit try to pull a fast one – and the fact that Arshavin’s agent is hinting that the player will buy out his contract in November will no doubt underline how desperate he is to leave.

Of course, the agent won’t get quite so good a cut if Arshavin is a free agent and that may play in the back of his mind as well.

Arshavin is a fantasy player and someone who will reassure doubting Gooners that the club still has the capacity to buy big, star name players, as well as developing the stars of tomorrow.

Of course, we’ll hear nothing from Arsenal until the deal is done, but I have been wondering – what will Wenger do if the Arshavin deal doesn’t work out?

Clearly, whether he has faith in Tomas Rosicky or not, Wenger realises that he needs some creativity, someone who can open up defences and has an eye for goal.

The sad fact is that Abou Diaby has blown his chance and I suspect he is the likely victim if Wenger does buy anyone, Rosicky’s injury status notwithstanding.

Apparently Arsenal have put a deadline of January 26, at which point they will go for other, perhaps easier signings. It will be fascinating to see who is Wenger’s alternative if the Arshavin deal falls through.

Remember when Bacary Sagna signed a couple of years ago? Many scratched their heads that Wenger would spend so much of his paltry budget on a defender when we had a decent enough right back in Manu Eboue.

A couple of months in, and those who suspected Wenger wanted more defensive stability were proved correct – Sagna made everyone realise how bad a defender Eboue could be, and the Ivorian is now worthy of no more than a squad role in that position despite his enforced role as a right midfielder.

In the same way, Wenger may realise something that we’re not taking enough chances and actually, despite this fine run, not making enough either, with so many players out injured.

I have to say though, that while I’d love to see a flair player come in and with the prospect of a new centre back no more than a pipe dream, I still yearn for a defensive midfielder.

Protection for the defence, protection and partnership for Cesc Fabregas or whoever is to be our playmaker, is essential if we are to regain top four status this season – which should be the very least of our ambitions.

FA Cup games against lower league opposition are the perfect way to blood new players into the team, especially if they come from overseas.

But I suspect we won’t see any new players before Sunday’s FA Cup match against Cardiff and it may well be February 2 before someone signs for us. That may be too late, but it’s better than the dreadful prospect of signing no one, which we can’t rule out.