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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Wenger confident on Vieira
Arsenal and France midfielder Patrick Vieira
Arsene Wenger has repeated his belief that Patrick Vieira will stay with Arsenal rather than join Real Madrid.

Vieira, whose contract is due to expire in 2007, has yet to publicly deny claims he will leave Highbury this summer for the Spanish giants.

But Wenger said: "Why should I not believe he's going to stay - he's got three more years on his contract.

"Patrick has played for the club for eight years - and you don't walk away just like that."

Wenger was speaking in Holland ahead of Arsenal's Amsterdam Tournament clash with River Plate.

He also took the opportunity to claim Chelsea's spending power had "destroyed" the transfer market.

Wenger said: "Who can compete with Chelsea? They go out and buy who they want, so it's very difficult to compete.

"In some ways they have destroyed the market - they can say just yes."

Reports in Spain continue to claim Vieira is on the verge of joining Real Madrid.

Vieira's agent, Steve Kutner, has insisted a deal to take the 28-year-old to the Bernabeu has not been struck.

"I can tell you that nothing has been agreed," Kutner said.

The agent also denied he had met Arsenal vice chairman David Dein to discuss the player's future as had previously been reported.

Real also appeared to cool over the reports that they were interested in signing the Arsenal captain.

Emilio Butragueno, Real's director of football, Butragueno had been reported as saying Vieira was "very important for us and our club".

But he later said: "The only thing I've said was Vieira's an 'interesting player'. I never confirmed that he was a target of ours."

Butragueno had been speaking in Tokyo, where Real are due to play two J-League teams on a pre-season tour.

Vieira heightened uncertainty over his Arsenal future on the club's tour of Austria by sidestepping questions about a possible move to Real.

"I am sorry," he said. "I cannot speak. This is not the right moment. I cannot talk about Real Madrid."




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Interview: Arsene Wenger expects Vieira to stay





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