Sat, Aug 08, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Wenger admits no approach made for fan favorite Vieira

AFP , LONDON

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal have yet to step up their bid to bring former captain Patrick Vieira back to north London.

Gunners boss Wenger had hinted he may make a move for France midfielder Vieira after the Inter star expressed an interest in returning to the Premier League, but Wenger, who ended Vieira’s nine-year stay in England when he sold the Arsenal legend to Juventus in 2005, has made little progress toward completing a deal.

“Not at the moment, no,” Wenger said on Thursday when asked if they were close to signing Vieira. “We can still make do with one or two players more. One could be in the defensive areas and one in the attacking areas.”

Wenger, speaking at Arsenal’s charity launch at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, added: “We make a few inquiries for players, but we are nowhere near to signing anybody at the moment. Usually the transfer market speeds up from August 26 up to midnight on the 31st, especially in the last two hours.”

Inter boss Jose Mourinho said they had not been approached by either Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur for Vieira. Spurs coach Harry Redknapp has also expressed an interest in the 33-year-old.

“If they want him, they have to tell us. At this moment, I have to say neither Arsenal nor Tottenham have contacted the club,” said Mourinho, ahead of the Italian Super Cup final against Lazio at Beijing’s Olympic Stadium.

“Vieira will start on the bench on Saturday,” Mourinho said. “We have 24 players in the squad and each team is only allowed 18 players for the match. When Vieira is on the bench, he is an option.”

Meanwhile, Czech winger Tomas Rosicky could miss the start of the season after suffering a hamstring injury in training just weeks after returning to action following his 18-month injury lay-off.

“Six weeks ago, I did not know how strong Eduardo would come back or how strong Rosicky would come back, despite the setback he has had,” Wenger said. “I believe they will play an important part in our season.”

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