Vieira agent's United 'talks' spur FA action

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Football Association will continue monitoring the activities of Patrick Vieira's agent, Marc Roger, following the French midfielder's claims in a tabloid newspaper that he was tempted by a possible move to Manchester United this summer.

The FA is not investigating allegations that United approached Vieira without being given permission to speak to him by Arsenal. The north London club have made no official complaint.

However, the FA is understood to have kept a close eye on Roger's activities for some time in relation to a number of issues. And while there was no official confirmation from Soho Square, a file on Roger has been compiled by the FA.

Arsenal fired a public warning shot across United's bows last month, making it clear they would not be selling their influential midfielder despite his reported unhappiness at the club.

Vieira yesterday insisted he had not sanctioned those quotes appearing in his name and insisted that he was happy to stay at Arsenal as the club had convinced him of their ambition. However, in an interview with a Sunday newspaper, he revealed the idea of leaving Arsenal for Manchester United had crossed his mind.

"It is true that these clubs [Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus] contacted my agent and that I was thinking about it," Vieira said. "Why not United? In football anything is possible.

"It's not that I was thinking of leaving but my agent came to me and said people were interested in me. When it's a big club like Manchester United or Real Madrid, then you have to be interested.

"There were talks, although I never personally met anyone from United, Real or Juventus. But my agent did. That's his job."

One issue which Vieira's admission fails to resolve is whether the alleged talks were initiated by the player's agent or by the clubs themselves. United have strongly denied making an illegal approach for Vieira, with the only contact they admit to regarding the player being a phone call from the United chief executive, Peter Kenyon, to the Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein.

If the FA believes there is a case for Roger to answer, they will pass their findings to Fifa, the game's world governing body, because he works for a Swiss-based registered agent.

Vieira, meanwhile, has revealed he is looking for a significant wage rise from Arsenal in imminent talks over a new contract.

"Money is important and I will fight and do everything to get the best possible contract for myself," he said. "Arsenal have convinced me they want to be just like Real Madrid and Juventus. That's what I wanted to hear and I believe them and trust them, so I'm happy to stay."

However, he still warned: "If I see at any time that Arsenal don't do everything to try to win trophies or that their ambitions no longer match mine, then that's it."

Comments