Reading are close to signing Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin in January, according to

The 31 year old Russian international has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates and has yet to start a Premier League game this season. The report suggests the £4m move to Berkshire, speculated on in a November IBTimes UK report, is set to happen in the first week of 2013.

Andrey Arshavin

There was also reported interest from the Royals' league rivals Fulham, as well as Arshavin's former club, Zenit St Petersburg. The star of the 2008 European Championships spent the second half of last season on loan with Zenit and although the possibility of a full time return was speculated on, it appears Reading have won the race for Arshavin's signature, after a deal was sanctioned by the club's Russian owner, Anton Zingarevich.

In addition, it is believed that with the player's family settled in England, Arshavin is keen on finding career options closer to his present home.

The Royals are presently at the bottom of the league and Zingarevich has been criticised by winger Jimmy Kebe for not adding Premier League-quality players to the squad during the summer. The Mali international admitted his club were little more than a "good Championship team".

Arshavin joined Arsenal from Zenit for £15m in January 2009 and had a terrific start to his career in the English top flight. However, the Euro 2008 star has failed to reproduce such form in recent seasons and was gradually demoted to a bench-warmer's role.

The Russian has a goal and five assists to his name from two League Cup appearances this season. And should he move to the Madejski Stadium, he is set to pair up with compatriot Pavel Pogrebnyak, who is presently the highest paid player in Reading's history, with wages understood to be around £60,000 per week.

Arsenal Reject Santos Bid

Meanwhile, the Gunners have reportedly turned down an offer from Galatasaray for wing back Andre Santos.

The Brazilian, who arrived from Fenerbahce for £6.8m in 2011, has fallen out of favour at the Emirates this season and has managed only three Premier League starts. According to The Sun, Arsenal are willing to sell the 29 year old for £5m in January but the Turkish side only offered £2.5m.