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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Vieira remains at Arsenal
Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira will stay at Arsenal after rejecting a move to Real Madrid.

Vieira was thought to be on the brink of a 23m move to The Bernabeu, but has revealed: "The ties that I have here were too strong for me to break.

"I'm staying at the club. I'm proud to be captain of the club and I'm looking forward to achieving my ambitions."

The 28-year-old Arsenal captain's decision will provide a massive boost to Arsene Wenger's champions on the eve of the new Premiership campaign.

Wenger said: "It was a relief. It's one of the few occasions in sport where money did not play a part.

The ties that I have here were too strong for me to break
Patrick Vieira

"I think there's something special among the players they've created and Patrick Vieira is part of that."

Arsenal added in a statement: "Naturally the club is delighted that Patrick Vieira has reaffirmed his commitment to Arsenal.

"As most people are aware, Patrick has spent much of the summer considering his future.

"Whilst we understood Patrick's quandary, our position throughout has remained the same. We are a club driven by success on the pitch and that means we do not seek to sell our best players.

"Arsene Wenger has assembled a highly-talented squad of players with the ambition of winning every major honour the game has on offer.

"Patrick is pivotal to that objective and it has always been our desire for him to stay here at Arsenal.

"We now look forward to Patrick captaining the team to further glory over the coming seasons.

"On a final note, we wish to state that despite any suggestions to the contrary, Real Madrid have acted properly throughout this uncertain period."

Vieira had looked destined for the Bernabeu, but late hitches scuppered the deal and he will now stay on at Highbury.

There was confusion about what had delayed the deal, with reports of differences over personal terms and the fee to be paid by Real.

But the deal is now dead after Vieira's decision to publicly pledge his future to Arsenal.

Wenger had given Vieira a deadline of Sunday to make up his mind about his future, and the French talisman has delivered the verdict Arsenal wanted.

"I've spent the summer considering my future and a possible move to Real Madrid, but my love for Arsenal and the ties which I have here were too strong for me to break."




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