Wenger to resist bid for Vieira

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid have not made a bid for Patrick Vieira, but even a huge offer would not force Arsenal to sell, their manager, Arsène Wenger, said at the weekend.

Real Madrid have not made a bid for Patrick Vieira, but even a huge offer would not force Arsenal to sell, their manager, Arsène Wenger, said at the weekend.

Vieira has been strongly linked with the Spanish club since Florentino Perez was re-elected as club president last Sunday. Real have also expressed an interest in Vieira in the past.

After a 10-1 pre-season win over Barnet, Wenger said: "There hasn't been a bid, and anyway, we are not in the market to sell our players."

Wenger said the club could turn down £20m to £30m for Vieira. "We could really say no. The target of a club is not to have massive money in the bank, it's to put a good football club on the pitch, and Patrick Vieira is part of that."

Vieira is not expected to arrive in London until Saturday, when Arsenal fly to Austria to continue pre-season training. Wenger has spoken to Vieira but did not give a clear answer when asked whether the player wanted to stay.

"I have had regular conversations with Patrick, and I would like to keep that secret," Wenger said. "I just can say we want to keep the player."

Wenger pledged his own future to Arsenal: "My situation is clear. I'm highly committed to the club."

On Saturday, Arsenal went behind against Barnet before hat-tricks from Jose Antonio Reyes and Francis Jeffers, two goals from Dennis Bergkamp, one from Robin van Persie and one from Quincy Owusu Abeyie handed the Premiership champions a comfortable victory.

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