Football

Published: Saturday February 1, 2014 MYT 4:12:47 AM
Updated: Saturday February 1, 2014 MYT 4:12:56 AM

Arsenal sign Sweden international Kallstrom

Sweden's Kim Kallstrom answers questions from the media during a news conference with the Swedish national soccer team in Stockholm October 8, 2012, ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Germany. REUTERS/Leif R Jansson/Scanpix

Sweden's Kim Kallstrom answers questions from the media during a news conference with the Swedish national soccer team in Stockholm October 8, 2012, ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Germany. REUTERS/Leif R Jansson/Scanpix

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal moved to bolster their depleted midfield by signing experienced Sweden international Kim Kallstrom on loan from Spartak Moscow until the end of the season.

With Aaron Ramsey out for up to six weeks, Jack Wilshere nursing an ankle strain and Mathieu Flamini banned for four games, manager Arsene Wenger turned to Kallstrom, 31, whose previous clubs include Djurgardens, Stade Rennes and Olympique Lyon.

"Kim Kallstrom is a hugely experienced player. He is a midfielder with proven quality at both club and international level. We welcome Kim to Arsenal," Wenger told the club's website after the deal was completed on transfer deadline day on Friday.

Kallstrom has played in the Europa League for Spartak this season but is eligible for Arsenal's Champions League last-16 clash against Bayern Munich.

Ramsey, who scored eight goals in an impressive first half of the season, suffered a recurrence of a thigh problem having picked up the injury against West Ham in late December.

Wilshere sustained an ankle knock in the FA Cup victory over Coventry one week ago but is expected to return for the trip to Liverpool on February 8.

Arsenal, who sit second in the Premier League and host Crystal Palace on Sunday, had been linked with a 37 million-pound ($61 million) deal for Schalke 04's Julian Draxler but Wenger said any deal was just speculation.

"The Draxler situation has been created by the newspapers, not by me," the Frenchman said. "You ask me, what is that situation? I say nothing is happening on that front. He will stay at Schalke."

(Writing by Justin Palmer; editing by Ed Osmond)

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