Vieira camp to hold talks with Real Madrid today

Patrick Vieira's advisors have set up a meeting today with officials from Real Madrid, who are preparing to make a £30m offer for the Arsenal captain.

Patrick Vieira's advisors have set up a meeting today with officials from Real Madrid, who are preparing to make a £30m offer for the Arsenal captain.

Florentino Perez, who was re-elected as Real president on Sunday, has given the go-ahead for the deal after talks with the club's new coach, Jose Antonio Camacho. Real's negotiators have moved into action, with talks planned with Vieira's camp today in Spain.

The move will hinge on whether Vieira, rated the best midfielder in the world by Perez, is willing to leave the Gunners. Arsenal could hold out - as they did a year ago, when Chelsea tried for the Frenchman - but on that occasion they had the player in their corner. However, the glamour of Madrid and the world's most prestigous club may prove too much for Vieira to resist.

Perez has promised the fans a galactico in return for their voting him back into office and Vieira is now the clear first choice ahead of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney. There is also the possibility of David Beckham being thrown into the equation as a makeweight - and the England captain might even be interested.

However, Arsenal would prefer to sell and have their choice of replacement. A bid for the Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is likely to be their first move.

Elsewhere, the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was reassured yesterday that he will have the final say over who leaves the club.

There has been speculation that there could be an Old Trafford cull to fund a bid for Wayne Rooney, but United's chief executive David Gill said that the manager's approval would be needed on any departure.

Gill also said the club was maintaining a watching brief round Europe as the search for an eventual successor to Sir Alex begins.

"We keep our eye on the managers coming through but it is a difficult process because whoever the hot star is today is maybe a cold star tomorrow," he said.

United unveiled their new fitness coach yesterday - the man Beckham blamed for his tiredness at Euro 2004.

Valter di Salvo, a 40-year-old Italian, will join after working in Madrid with Carlos Queiroz, who is returning to Old Trafford as Ferguson's No 2 following a year as Real coach. Di Salvo likes to use high-tech methods to measure fitness and will produce individual computerised programmes for every player.

United may be without two key players for the start of the season, thanks to the Olympics.

The £6m Argentinian signing Gabriel Heinze has been shortlisted in his country's 30-man provisional squad as one of three permitted overage players. Cristiano Ronaldo's displays at Euro 2004, meanwhile, have made him almost certain to be called up for the Portugal squad.

Both players would miss the first three Premiership games of the season, and with an international weekend scheduled for the end of August, they would not be available until the game against Bolton on 11 September.

The United striker Eddie Johnson, 19, has joined Coventry on a season's loan. He joins Neil Wood, who left Old Trafford last week to sign a two-year deal at Highfield Road.

News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine