Juventus in talks with Arsenal over Vieira bid

They were scheduled to meet Arsenal's vice-chairman, David Dein, to discuss Vieira. The future of his team-mate, Robert Pires, was also on the agenda. Both sides are still some way from concluding any deal; it remains unclear how willing Arsenal are to sell their 29-year-old captain although they would listen to offers for Pires who has one year left on his contract and is unhappy with the proposal of just a 12-month extension.

Comments from chairman Peter Hill-Wood yesterday surprisingly suggested that they would indeed countenance a transfer for Vieira, although Hill-Wood's involvement in any move would be limited with the lead taken by Dein and manager Arsène Wenger.

However, Hill-Wood said: "Patrick's aware they have approached us. It all very much depends on what they offer and what he wants to do. In a situation like this you have to listen to what they say and tell the player about it." Hill-Wood added that the matter would be discussed at a board meeting in a week's time. "We have not decided what we want to do but my gut feeling is we would very much like him to stay," he said.

So far Juventus have fallen short of Arsenal's probable valuation for Vieira, which will not be less than £15m. Their initial offer was £5m plus the midfielder Stephen Appiah, the captain of Ghana, while they have also suggested that Wenger could alternatively have his pick of Igor Tudor, Enzo Maresca or Marcelo Zalayeta.

Arsenal are interested in defender Jonathan Zebina but, so far, Juventus are unwilling to let him go. Moggi will have certainly arrived yesterday with an improved offer and sources in Italy claim he was proposing £9m plus Appiah although he would prefer a swap deal. That raises the possibility of Arsenal again inquiring about David Trezeguet - especially as their attempt to sign Sevilla's Julio Baptista has stalled because of the Brazilian's desire to stay in Spain until Christmas so that he qualifies for a European passport. Juventus yesterday insisted that they wanted to keep Trezeguet, and the player himself said he would welcome Vieira's arrival in Turin.

If Juventus progress their interest in 31-year-old Pires then he is thought to be available for around £4m.

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