Viera no closer to Arsenal switch

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger admits the club are no closer to bringing former captain Patrick Vieira back to Arsenal.

The Gunners had looked ready to move for their ex-midfield enforcer, who left for Juventus in 2005, before the new Barclays Premier League season kicks off at Everton next weekend.

The 33-year-old French international is reportedly surplus to requirements at Inter Milan, and a return to the club with which he enjoyed nine glorious years at Highbury seemed on the cards.

However, Wenger - who also feels Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh has been overpriced by Bordeaux - revealed an imminent announcement on Vieira was not in the pipeline.

"Not at the moment, no," said Wenger, when asked if they were close to completing a deal from Vieira.

"We can still make do with one or two players more.

"One could be in the defensive areas, and one in the attacking areas."

Wenger, speaking at Arsenal's charity launch at the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, added: "We make a few enquires for players, but we are nowhere near to signing anybody at the moment.

"Usually the transfer market speeds up from August 26 up to midnight on 31st - especially in the last two hours."

With both striker Emmanuel Adebayor and defender Kolo Toure having joined big-spending Manchester City, Wenger certainly has the funds available should he wish to spend.

Meanwhile, Czech winger Tomas Rosicky suffered a slight setback to his recovery, picking up a hamstring injury in training following a return to action after some 18 months on the sidelines.

"Six weeks ago I did not know how strong Eduardo would come back, or how strong Rosicky would come back, despite the setback he has had," said the Arsenal manager, whose side complete their pre-season campaign at Valencia on Saturday.

"I believe they will play an important part in our season.

"Eduardo, after the first surgery, did not look perfect, but after the second surgery he looks to have come back to a normal level, and he is a massive player."

Defender Philippe Senderos, though, looks set to leave Emirates Stadium.

The Swiss international, loaned to AC Milan last season, is in talks with Everton.

"There is an interest from Everton, but he is still our player," said Wenger.

"He has an opportunity to go because he only has one year left on his contract, so we will see what happens next week."

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland as a possible defensive addition but while Wenger admitted the Norwegian was on his radar, he insisted no deal was on the cards.

"We had a look at him, but we have not contacted Fulham, have not contacted Hangeland and have not made our choice on him or anybody else," he said.

Wenger attended today's launch along with Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and England winger Theo Walcott, with actress Barbara Windsor, also at the famous children's hospital.

Arsenal have chosen GOSH as their charity of the season, and will aim to raise some £500,000 to help build a new Lung Function Unit.

Wenger was impressed by the character shown at the hospital.

He said: "For us, it is lesson because we live in a privileged world, we are healthy and sporty.

"To see how strong these boys who fight in these units are, is always a great lesson for us."