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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Saturday, 1 August 2009 10:44 UK

Wenger not ruling out Vieira deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (right) with former skipper Patrick Vieira in 2005
Arsenal have not won any silverware since Vieira's departure in 2005

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not ruling out the possibility of former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira returning to the London club.

The 33-year-old midfielder, who left Arsenal for Juventus in 2005, is surplus to requirements at Inter Milan.

Wenger said: "I am aware he wants to come here. There is a football decision and there is a psychological impact of a player of that stature coming in.

"We are nowhere near to making that decision but it's a possibility."

Tottenham, newly promoted Birmingham and French side Paris St Germain have all expressed interest in signing Vieira.

Inter Milan midfielder Patrick Vieira
Midfielder Vieira has fallen out of favour at Inter Milan

Vieira was Wenger's first signing at Arsenal in 1996 and he spent an illustrious nine years with the club after arriving from AC Milan.

He made over 400 appearances for the Gunners, winning three league titles and four FA Cups.

His last game in an Arsenal shirt was the FA Cup final of 2005, in which he scored the winning penalty to beat Manchester United.

Vieira moved to Juventus for £13.75m before switching to Inter, where he helped the Italian club to win the last two Serie A titles.

"Patrick is a legend here and he would always like to come back to this club," added Wenger. "That would be his first choice.

"With emotion you always like the club you spent time with but at the moment we need to look at the level of experience in the squad to make this kind of decision.

"We do not rule it out and we do not say we will do it - and that is my decision at the moment."

Vieira's signing would add experience to a squad looking for their first trophy since 2005, especially after the departures of defender Kolo Toure and striker Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City.


Wenger has generated in the region of £40m from the transfers but has made only one summer signing so far, Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax for £10m.

The Frenchman insisted, however, he is not in a rush to spend the cash.

"I feel we are strong enough but if we can add then we will do it," Wenger told the club's official website earlier this week.

"In England, people think all problems can be sorted out by buying players."

Arsenal have been linked with a host of players this summer but Wenger says the club are not "close to signing anyone at the moment".

Defenders Brede Hangeland of Fulham and Newcastle's Sebastien Bassong as well as strikers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Real Madrid and Bordeaux's Marouane Chamakh have been linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium.

Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh
Chamakh has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates

"We have money available so for us it is now important to spend it in the right way when we do it or if we do it," added Wenger after Arsenal's 1-0 friendly win over German side Hannover on Wednesday.

"The biggest target is to work hard in training, improve what we can improve and have confidence in the players that we have."

The lack of summer signings, the departures of Toure and Adebayor and the serious injury to Samir Nasri has put the spotlight on the club's transfer policy.

The Gunners lost out in their bid to sign Felipe Melo from Fiorentina, with the Brazil midfielder opting to sign for Juventus instead.

Since moving to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, the Gunners boss has focused on nurturing young players rather than capturing experienced stars.

The likes of Mathieu Flamini, Gilberto Silva and Alexander Hleb have all left the club, while Wenger has developed the talent of youngsters such as Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.

But Arsenal have not won any silverware for four years and finished a distant fourth in the Premier League last season, leading to a lively shareholders' meeting back in May during which Wenger criticised the negativity of the Emirates crowd.

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see also
Toure aims for Man City success
30 Jul 09 |  Man City
Redknapp keen on ex-Gunner Vieira
24 Jul 09 |  Tottenham
Arsenal stunned by Nasri injury
21 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Adebayor finalises Man City move
18 Jul 09 |  Man City
Juventus sign Arsenal target Melo
15 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Arsenal put faith in youngsters
08 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Arsenal confirm Vermaelen signing
19 Jun 09 |  Arsenal
Eboue admits he may leave Arsenal
16 Jun 09 |  Arsenal

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