Wenger turns to Carrick

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, admitted yesterday he is interested in signing the West Ham United midfielder Michael Carrick. At the same time, he urged Patrick Vieira to finish what he started at Highbury.

The Portsmouth chairman, Milan Mandaric, said Arsenal had attempted to hijack his club's attempts to sign the 23-year-old. Portsmouth had a club record £2.5m bid for Carrick rejected earlier this week, but Mandaric made an improved offer on Thursday.

Wenger said yesterday that a deal could go through, irrespective of whether Vieira leaves for Real Madrid, saying: "He has always been a player that I loved."

Of Vieira, he said: "He has helped build a big part of the history of this team and I want him to go to the end of what he can create. To build a big club takes 10 years and I want him to finish what he has started."