Arsenal sells France's Viera to Real Madrid

4th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

MADRID, Aug 3 (AFP) - Arsenal have agreed to sell French international midfielder Patrick Vieira to Spanish giants Real Madrid for EUR 35 million (USD 42 million), it was reported here on Tuesday.

MADRID, Aug 3 (AFP) - Arsenal have agreed to sell French international midfielder Patrick Vieira to Spanish giants Real Madrid for EUR 35 million (USD 42 million), it was reported here on Tuesday.

Real president Florentino Perez and David Dein, the Gunners vice-president, discussed the transfer on the telephone and agreed to the deal, AS sports daily website claimed.

AS was quoting a report carried by the Cadena SER radio station which has close links to Real Madrid.

It added that Arsenal, the English champions, will use the money received to fund a deal to sign Portuguese midfielder Maniche from European champions Porto.

Vieira, who will reportedly sign a four-to-five year deal at the Bernabau and will receive around EUR 4.5 million a year, is expected to put to paper by Thursday to enable him to play in the Champions League qualifier against either WIT of Georgia or Polish side Wisla Krakow.

The deal comes just two weeks after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had insisted that Vieira would be staying at Highbury.

"The rumours are rumours. In England we are the world champions of rumours. If they organise a world championship of rumours we have a great chance of winning," said Wenger.

Vieira is under contract with the Gunners until 2007, but was reported to be ready to quit Highbury, where he has nothing left to prove domestically having now won both of England's major domestic honours.

At Real, Vieira would link up with the likes of countryman Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Raul and Roberto Carlos.

Vieira has yet to play for Premiership champions Arsenal in their build-up to the new campaign because of a thigh injury picked up while playing for France at the European Championship in June.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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