McDermott already has Pavel Pogrebnyak at the club, but denies that Reading are about to add another Russia international.
When asked about the Arshavin rumour, McDermott said: "I don't think so. At this time of year you hear lots of rumours. I have heard that one. 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."
Reading visit West Ham United on Saturday.