Vieira stays silent over proposed move to Real

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The Independent Football

Patrick Vieira refused to be drawn on his plans when he was asked about reports linking him to Real Madrid.

Vieira, in Austria with Arsenal as part of their pre-season preparations, was clearly irritated when asked by a journalist from the Spanish paper Marca in a hotel lobby if he would like to move to the Bernabeu.

"I am sorry," said Vieira. "I cannot speak. This is not the right moment. I cannot talk about Real Madrid. Leave me. Don't do this."

The paper said Vieira has indicated to Madrid that he would like to become the club's seventh galactico. However, the paper maintains Real will not pay the £27.7m Arsenal would want.

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, who was due to hold talks late yesterday with the Senegal-born French international midfielder, said on Saturday: "I'll talk to him tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. But it is difficult to concentrate on the team - there are 20 other players in the squad who need the same attention."

Wenger denied he had received a bid for the player, saying: "I don't know who wants our players to go. But we always start the season with the same players - no team has been more stable than us in the last five years."

Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie kept up their impressive scoring record as Arsenal beat the Austrian side Grazer AK 2-1 on Saturday. The pair had scored in the Gunners' opening two friendlies, against Barnet and Maribor.

Wenger's side took an early lead when Jose Reyes raced away down the left and cut the ball back for Bergkamp to sidefoot home. Although Grazer hit back with a first-half equaliser, after the break Francis Jeffers sent in a decent cross and Van Persie showed excellent technique to hammer home a volley.

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