No Real deal agreed, says Vieira's agent

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid's director of sport, Emilio Butragueno, and Patrick Vieira's agent, Steve Kutner, both distanced themselves yesterday from any possibility that the France midfielder will make a £22m switch to the Spanish club.

Real Madrid's director of sport, Emilio Butragueno, and Patrick Vieira's agent, Steve Kutner, both distanced themselves yesterday from any possibility that the France midfielder will make a £22m switch to the Spanish club.

Butragueno described reports that Real are close to signing Arsenal's 28-year-old captain as "a bit excessive", while Kutner said that no agreement has been made.

Butragueno said he was inaccurately quoted in reports which suggested Real had agreed personal terms with the France midfielder, whose £4m-a-year contract is due to expire in 2008. The former Spain international striker had been quoted on Tuesday as saying: "He is an interesting player and very important for us and our club. It's a long process, but this week will be decisive."

However, he claimed less than 24 hours later that he had been misquoted, saying: "The only thing I said to the English journalist was that he was an interesting player. At no moment did I confirm that he was one of our operations, to say that strikes me as a bit excessive."

He added: "I understand there is not much news and that this could be a very attractive story but I want to make it clear that we were never in 'the operation Vieira' or anything like that."

Kutner also denied that Vieira, the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, and the club's vice-chairman, David Dein, were meeting last night at their pre-season training camp in Graz to discuss the player's future. And when asked why Vieira had not made clear what his future plans might be, Kutner said: "That's because there has been no movement on this. I can tell you that nothing has been agreed."

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