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.

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

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable