Darren Bent insisted he had to leave Aston Villa after too many "slaps in the face".
Brighton defender Greg Halford has agreed to extend his loan deal from Nottingham Forest until the New Year.
Arsenal's forgotten forward has been repeatedly linked with a club owned by his fellow Russian Anton Zingarevich and with Pavel Pogrebnyak already on the books.
And the 31-year-old fits boss McDermott's profile of "players with Premier League experience" he believes will give Reading a better chance of survival come May.
But asked directly about Arshavin in the wake of a goalless draw with Swansea, a non-committal McDermott said: "I don't think so. At this time of year you hear lots of rumours. I have heard that one."
The manager was more forthcoming when asked about his general plans for the transfer window, saying: "We are talking at the moment regarding players.
"If we could bring in two or three players that could make a difference, it would be useful to the squad.
"We don't generally deal in big prices. We try to get players that are available. I'd like to bring in two or three with a little bit of experience at the level."
The point against Swansea was enough to lift Reading off the bottom and McDermott said: "We need to do whatever we have to do to get results.
"We were much more resilient. It is important to move on with a point and we can look forward with confidence to West Ham.
"We have got a point and a clean sheet and we are off the bottom of the table."