Vieira 'happy with' Real contract offer

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid have agreed terms with the Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira, according to the Spanish newspaper Marca.

Real Madrid have agreed terms with the Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira, according to the Spanish newspaper Marca.

The publication's website, reported yesterday that the French international is happy with the contract offered by the Madrid club and that all that remains is for the two clubs to negotiate a price. Marca believes this will not be a problem as the player is determined to leave Highbury for the Bernabeu and the deal should go through in the next few days.

Madrid have remained silent on Vieira until yesterday when the club's sporting director Emilio Butragueno admitted they were keen on adding the 28-year-old to their star-studded squad. "He's a very interesting player and he's very important for us and our club," the former Real striker said.

"We're not there yet. It's a long process ... I think this week will be decisive." Butragueno made the comments in Japan, where Real are set to play two pre-season friendlies against J-League opposition.

Arsenal - Premiership champions last season - do not need to sell but if Vieira has set his heart on a move to Madrid they will have to reluctantly cash in. The club's manager Arsène Wenger is adamant Vieira is going nowhere and has held talks with the player on the team's pre-season tour of Austria. Vieira has been the subject of media speculation over a move away from the English champions to Real, though the Spanish club had not confirmed their interest in the 28-year-old midfielder until yesterday.

Real president Florentino Perez, who was re-elected earlier this month, has made it his policy to sign a new galactico each season. He has enticed Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and David Beckham to the Bernabeu in the last four years. Despite the influx of talent, Real ended last season without winning any trophies.

Butragueno said he was keen to turn the page on last season. "All of a sudden our performance went down. There were two or three really important matches where we were unlucky and that had a negative effect. We are very happy about the future. We think we have a great team and we think that Camacho is going to do a good job, so we are optimistic."

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