Patrick Vieira is on the verge of stunning Arsenal with a transfer request, a move which is certain to alert Manchester United and Juventus. The Frenchman is said to have become restless at Highbury and is to hold talks about his future with the club next week, and close acquaintances are claiming he has decided to leave.
The United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is a huge admirer of the World Cup-winning midfielder and believes that Vieira is prepared to make the switch from Arsenal to arguably their biggest rivals in the domestic game. However, the Italian Serie A club Juventus have also been trailing Vieira for some time and they have the wealth, wages and Champions' League place to offer him.
Yesterday, Vieira, in Japan with France for the Confederations Cup, said: "In my mind it is very clear. I know what I want to do and I know what I will do. When I go back to London next week I will have a meeting with the coach and the officials. Either way I will stand by my decision."
David Moyes has rejected Southampton's offer to become the Premiership club's new manager, opting instead to remain at Preston North End.
The 38-year-old Scot has rejected the chance to move up a division because he felt the Hampshire club would not provide significantly more financial backing in the transfer market than he already has in Lancashire. It is a coup for the Deepdale club, whom Moyes guided to the verge of the Premiership last season before losing to Bolton in the First Division play-off final.
Southampton are thus back to square one in their quest to replace Glenn Hoddle. A leading candidate is Brighton's Micky Adams while Ray Graydon, the manager of Walsall, last night agreed a new contract at the Bescot stadium, described by his club as a "long-term deal", thereby quashing reports linking him with the vacancy at The Dell.
The prolific striker Henrik Larsson yesterday pledged his future to Celtic for the next three years. The Swede has been handed a big pay rise and a one-year extension to his current contract. The new deal means he will be 32 by the time it expires, when he is likely to return to his homeland.
Mustapha Hadji, Coventry City's Moroccan captain, has become the third midfielder to be pursued by Aston Villa this summer. Hadji is understood to have a get-out clause allowing him to leave if a club offers £4.5m, but the Villa manager, John Gregory, faces competition from Bordeaux and Bayern Munich.
Villa planned to press their £7m bid for Frank Lampard with West Ham, who want £10m, at a Premier League meeting yesterday. The club are also interested in Southampton's Hassan Kachloul, who is available on a free transfer.
Tommy Mooney, Watford's out-of-contract striker, has accepted Birmingham City's offer of a three-year contract in preference to joining Everton or Nottingham Forest. City, who last week lodged a club-record bid of £4.5m for West Bromwich Albion's Lee Hughes, also hope to sign the Huddersfield goalkeeper, Nico Vaesen, and Chris Bart-Williams, the Forest utility player.
Newcastle's Gary Speed and Ian Taylor of Aston Villa have had the red cards they received after clashing on the last day of the season reduced to yellow after an appeal to the Football Association. Neither player will be suspended at the start of next season.Reuse content