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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK
'Sorry' Vieira will return to Arsenal
Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira
Vieira is still unlikely to remain at Highbury
Want-away Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has apologised to manager Arsene Wenger over his criticism of the club.

But the Frenchman, who accused the Gunners of lacking ambition, does not appear to have done a U-turn about leaving.

The Daily Mirror claims that while Vieira still plans to quit Highbury this summer, he has apologised to manger Arsene Wenger and his team-mates.

The French international is reported as saying: "I am a professional and would not let you or the club down. I will report for training."

The Mirror also reports that Vieira has contacted several team-mates and told them his remarks had been "taken out of context."

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United are among the teams keen to sign Vieira

Vieira, who still has three years of his Arsenal contract to run, is reported to favour a move to Spanish champions Real Madrid.

Arsenal have so refused to entertain the possibility of a transfer, insisting the Frenchman is "not for sale at any price."

Explanation

While it appears Vieira still wants to leave Highbury, team-mate Gilles Grimandi says the midfielder has explained his recent action.

"Patrick Vieira has telephoned me to explain the truth of what's being going on between him and Arsenal in recent weeks.

"It was very good to hear from him and I was interested to hear what he had to say. I feel better about everything now.

"He will speak publicly very soon and explain it to everyone," he told icons.com.

"All I can say is that I had my suspicions about what had been going on and they turned out to be absolutely correct.

"I feel very happy and reassured by what Patrick told me. I've always liked and respected him as a team-mate and good friend.

"Now I know the truth about his situation, I still have those feelings about him.

"I wish I could tell the fans more, but all I can say for now is that they really should wait until they hear from Patrick direct, like I did, before making up their minds about him.

"He has a lot of things to say and everyone will hear them soon."

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See also:

27 Jun 01 |  Arsenal
Man Utd warned off Vieira
25 Jun 01 |  Arsenal
Vieira burns Arsenal bridges
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