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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Vieira, Pires and Freddie pledge their long term futures to Arsenal!!

The mood of celebration continues at Highbury, with Robert Pires keen to extend his current contract and Patrick Vieira giving the clearest indication yet that his long-term future is at Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger's side clinched the double at Old Trafford only this week, but already the Gunners' top stars are focusing on the seasons to come.

Footballer of the Year Pires, for one, is keen to play a part in what he believes could be a golden era in the north London club's history.

The 29-year-old, who misses the World Cup finals because of knee ligament damage, said: "I should extend my contract very soon.

If everyone stays there is no reason why I would not, we have great seasons ahead of us with Arsenal."

Pires' France team-mate Vieira has been less than forthcoming in the past when faced with questions about a possible move to Real Madrid.

But in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe, the £40million-rated midfielder admits he could not bear to leave Arsenal.

Vieira said: "Rumours would not stop and according to the newspapers my transfer was changing by a few millions every day. But, in my mind, things have been clear for a long time - I want to stay at Arsenal.

"I feel too happy here and I love the club too much to leave. Next year I will be here. I am a Gunner.

"We are still discussing with Arsene Wenger my contract but I have another two years to my existing deal and whatever happens I want to continue here because the adventure I am experiencing is beautiful."


I thought about putting this in the Rumours thread, but they are not rumours, Vieira and Pires actually said this.
This is great news, lately I was a bit concerned about Vieira's future but I am not anymore.
 

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it just gets better and better for the arsenal:)
i honestly believe wengers decision to stay has greatly influenced the french lads to do the same.
what a week!:D
 

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Nothing can stop the power of Arsenal!

Muahahahaha! :devil:
 

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he better stay:fero:

i read that pires is gonna sign that new contract like a while ago!
:tongue:

this is gonan scare man utd away
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Freddie Ljungberg has pledged his future to Arsenal.

Juventus and Lazio are reportedly chasing the £20million-rated midfielder.

But Ljungberg has vowed to stay with the Premiership and FA Cup winners.

"I've heard all the rumours about the interest from Italy and I'm very flattered, but I have it really good at London and I'm staying at Arsenal," he told The Sun.

"Everything is perfect here for me - the team-mates, the coach and all the fans."

Nights like the one at Old Trafford on Wednesday, when Arsenal defeated Manchester United 1-0 to clinch the title, have obviously influenced Ljungberg's views.

He said: "It's like the people here are crazy. It's a happiness and a joy I can hardly begin to believe.

"I've been told there were 100,000 people partying outside Highbury after we had won at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

"There was a real party atmosphere on our flight back to London and then we all went to China Whites and stayed way too late.

"It was the first time I'd been out partying for three months so I stayed home for the rest of the next day!"

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This just gets better and better. Who's next Theirry?
Although I never thought Freddie would even think about leaving anyway, he will be here when our new stadium is built.
 

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i think all this news about the signing new contracts should have a darker side to it
and it probably does

when a world class players like pires, and freddie want a new contract. they would want more money in the contract. if everyone signs it then arsenal would be spending more on wages then ever!!
so new contracts does have a bad side!!!

btw, theiry is going to sign a new contract, heard this ages ago as well. his having a good time and everything so he wants a new contract.
 

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As for the Vieira stuff, until he signs a new contract I will be ignoring all speculation over him, good or bad...

:yawn:
 

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GarethUK said:
As for the Vieira stuff, until he signs a new contract I will be ignoring all speculation over him, good or bad...

:yawn:
I can understand your caution,and you're right to not get too carried away.Whenever i've seen him questioned regarding a transfer away(in print,or on TV),my conclusion is that he just wants to be at a club where he is almost guaranteed success,and also surrounded by players of his standard in just about every position - well that's how i perceived things anyway.Now,that the double has been won,Wenger must get 1 more top finisher,and get a couple of central defenders in as well.Why?Yes,there is Upson and there is Jeffers,but to KEEP Vieira,Arsenal must make a genuine concerted strong showing in the CL.Oh,and get someone for the right-wing spot,or alternatively play Pennant with regularity.Whatever happens with PV,Pires is in the form of his life,Henry & Freddie aren't doing too bad either;),so all things considered it's pretty rosy right now.:)
 

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Monday, May 13, 2002
Vieira: I'm staying at Arsenal to win European Cup
By Steve Curry

As Arsene Wenger registers the comings and goings at Highbury this summer, the one player who holds the key to his European Cup ambitions has made it clear that he wants to make his acceptance speeches in English, rather than Spanish.

Patrick Vieira: Euro desire
(AlexLivesey/Allsport)
As the Double celebrations died down on Saturday and Highbury emptied, with a giant vacuum cleaner removing ticker-tape from the pitch, Patrick Vieira explained why he wants to win his medals in London rather than Madrid.

At the end of what he called a 'perfect' day, the guardsman-like Frenchman was in loquacious mood. He suggested that you can only win trophies if you have a collective spirit.

'You need everybody to struggle together in the same way and in the same direction,' said Vieira. 'The most important thing for us this season has been the spirit of the squad.'

One of Wenger's abundant talents is his ability to bind together the disparate nationalities within his squad, so that Romford rubs shoulders with Rouen, Manchester embraces Martinique.

The sweetest noise for Arsenal fans thus came from the lips of the player who harnessed all their talents on the pitch, when he finally dismissed persistent agent talk of a move to Real Madrid.

'I play at a fantastic club. I have really good friends at this club and we are winning trophies. So it is good.

'As far as me staying at Arsenal, the club knows the truth, the boss knows the truth, Mr Dein (the club's vice-chairman) knows the truth.

'I don't want to leave at all. It is only you people saying that. I have two more years left on my Arsenal contract and I show the fans on the pitch how much I love the club and that I will stay here.

'This is where I want to be. This is the start of what we can achieve together,' said Vieira conclusively.

'We must start now to build something for the future because nobody wants to go another three years without winning anything. When we won the Double in 1998 that was maybe the end of an era, and since then we have built a new club.

'I believe we now have the team to win the European Cup. We just need to take our away form in the Premier League into the Champions League.'

More immediately, of course, Vieira and Thierry Henry take their talents to the World Cup in Japan and Korea.

Vieira admitted to feeling weary but said: 'It is tiring because it is one of the best leagues in the world. But look how exciting it is.'

Not much doubt about Vieira's loyalties there, but that seems to extend through the team.

Henry, scorer of two goals against Everton on Saturday, was clearly thinking more of creating a scoring chance for Francis Jeffers against his old club Everton than of making sure the Golden Boot finished on his mantelpiece.

In the event, he achieved both objectives.

'The important thing for me was always winning the League, even if I wasn't scoring the goals,' said Henry. 'You have to give credit to my team-mates. Dennis Bergkamp could have scored today but he waited so I could put the ball in an empty net.

'Without my partner, I couldn't do anything. When you play with a tremendous player like that, you just have to finish the job.'

And so the mutual admiration went on well into the early summer evening with just one or two players taking a nostalgic walk across the pitch. Lee Dixon is gone, Tony Adams, it seems, is going and Martin Keown could be getting one final payday with Bobby Robson's Newcastle. The collective age of those players is almost 110.

But Wenger has alternatives in mind. A great club never stands still and the veteran trio will be another link broken with the old Arsenal defence of former manager George Graham.

'We will miss them, ' said Bergkamp. 'They stand for English football, for the back four that became famous throughout Europe.

'We will miss them, too, because they taught the young players so much.

'They also knew how to handle the end of the season because they had been there before. They stay calm and they talk, and they have been around at the right moments.' As Everton discovered, even on a day of celebration, Arsenal found the necessary concentration to triumph.

They made it 13 straight League wins to finish the season with a massive 87 points, earning a seven-point lead over second -placed Liverpool and ending a further three ahead of Manchester United.

Goodison Park manager David Moyes has much ground to make up on Merseyside.

Wenger now turns his attention to the market place, where he has always - with one or two exceptions - bought wisely and well in the past.

soccernet
 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Vieira insists he's staying a Gunner

Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira today reaffirmed his desire to lead the Gunners into next year's Champions League.

Fond farewell? Vieira at Old Trafford
(AlexLivesey/Allsport)
The France midfielder's future has been the source of speculation this year with Real Madrid expected to offer big money for a player who still has two years on his contract at Highbury.

Vieira, 25, has been frustrated by Arsenal's failure to become the kings of Europe - they failed to get progress beyond the second group stage this year. The Premiership and FA Cup Double appears to have been enough silverware for the player to remain in London.

I will definitely stay with Arsenal next season,' he said again today at Clairefontaine where he is preparing for France's friendly against Belgium. 'Since 1998 I have progressed a lot both with the French team and Arsenal. I feel more mature thanks to the experience I gained in England.

'I am very proud about what I have accomplished with the Gunners as well as about the status I have reached with the French national team.'

Roger Lemerre may rest Vieira, Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord on Saturday because of their gruelling season. Vieira, Lemerre said, had a sore ankle.

'I feel fine physically but we have agreed with the team doctors that I would rest in the next two or three days,' he said. 'I did not play in Arsenal's last tie against Manchester United and I was glad. It allowed me to recuperate.'

As for France's preparations for the World Cup, Vieira is very upbeat. The world champions, are in Group A with Senegal, Uruguay and Denmark.

'I am not worried about the World Cup,' he added, 'I am fully aware of what we can do and I know that we have the capacity to go until the end.'

After Saturday's friendly against Belgium at the Stade de France, France will depart for the Far East the following day.

'Belgium is just a preparation game for us, it is part of the whole process that is gradually leading us to Asia,' Vieira said. 'It will allow us to sort out the last details of our game.'

Martin Keown, meanwhile, has called on Arsenal to sort out his future before the World Cup. The central defender is out of contract and wants a new deal at the double-winners.

'Hopefully my future is (with Arsenal),' he told reporters. 'That's something we need to sort out when the time is right. Maybe it could be done before the World Cup, as it could be done on the telephone or even out there.'

Media reports have suggested Arsenal may allow Keown to join Newcastle United. But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday that he wants Keown to sign a new deal with the club.

'I like to think I have 11 leaders in the dressing-room. Martin is certainly one of them. Of course I want him to stay,' Wenger said.

The 35-year-old Keown, an Arsenal player since 1993, insists uncertainty over a new contract will not affect his performance with England at the World Cup finals, which start on May 31.

'It's not something that's going to bother me or affect my performance,' he said, before flying to Dubai with the rest of the England squad for five days of rest and acclimatisation. 'I'm focused on being successful in this tournament.'

Keown's fortunes have fluctuated this season, but he has a chance to experience another high with England. Having broken his leg in January, he returned in time to help Arsenal towards the premier league and FA Cup double.

Despite his good end of season form, pundits predicted England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson would not include him in his World Cup squad.

But they were wrong, and Keown, who has won 42 caps, said: 'I feel I'm still able to do the job that's necessary. Earlier this season, I'd broken my leg and had to get back into a very successful Arsenal team.

'I achieved that and now I've set a new goal of going to Japan and winning another trophy. It's going to be very difficult, but we need to go and give a good account of ourselves.'

soccernet
 
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