The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hands off Vieira, Arsenal tell United

London: Arsenal have told Manchester United that skipper Patrick Vieira is not for sale after Sir Alex Ferguson was reported to have made a £22 million ($36 million) bid.

Vieira has only one year left on his Arsenal contract and is negotiating a new deal.

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, who last season told Vieira not to be too greedy, told BBC Sport that Vieira was not for sale at any price.

United, who last week sold England captain David Beckham to Real Madrid for £24.5 million and were ready to let Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastien Veron return to Italy, attempted to sign Vieira two years ago.

“Patrick Vieira is not for sale,” Dein said. “We have not had any inquiry from Manchester United for Patrick and even in the event of one he is not for sale.”

Arsenal have fought off interest from Real Madrid in the past, and manager Arsene Wenger is determined to keep him at Highbury after his France colleague Thierry Henry signed a new three-year contract at the club.

The 27-year-old Vieira said recently he could never see himself playing for Manchester United.

On Tuesday, Vieira announced he would be fit for the start of the new season after missing the final games of Arsenal’s run-in as Manchester United stole back the Premiership title.

He had a successful exploratory operation on his right knee in Strasbourg last week.

Vieira has not played since limping off during the first half of Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United on April 16. He also had to sit out the FA Cup final victory against Southampton.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur have signed Porto striker Helder Postiga, the club said on Wednesday.

The deal for the 20-year-old Portuguese international is valued at £6.25 million ($10.41 million), rising to £8.25 million depending on appearances and team performance.

Postiga has agreed a five-year contract and will join the rest of the squad for pre-season training at the start of July.

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