Patrick Vieira admits he held talks over transfer to Arsenal rivals Tottenham

Arsenal’s legendary captain conceded he had ben in contact with ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp as he looked to seal his return back to English football, with a move to Spurs suggested

Arteta launches staunch defence of Arsenal’s transfer policy

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has admitted he once held talks over a possible return to the Premier League with their rivals Tottenham.

The Frenchman spent nine successful years with the Gunners, captaining them to three Premier League titles in that time, including the unbeaten run of 2004 as part of their famed ‘Invincibles’ side.

Vieira was then sold for a cut-price fee to Juventus before later moving to Inter Milan, then eventually sealing a switch back to the UK with Manchester City.

But he has admitted he once discussed his future with then-Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp over the prospect of lining up at White Hart Lane.

Patrick Vieira admits discussing Tottenham move but said there was “no chance” of him going



“It is too far and a long time ago. I don’t remember,” Vieira joked at a press conference ahead of his Crystal Palace side hosting Tottenham at Selhurst Park.

He then explained: “No, that was a period where I really wanted to come back to the Premier League.

“Knowing Harry quite well and admiring him as a manager, we had a conversation about different options but at the end there was no chance of me coming to England and going to Spurs, no chance.”

Such a move would have been treason in the eyes of Arsenal fans, while Spurs supporters know all too well how it feels after seeing Sol Campbell moving across North London on a free transfer in 2001.

Vieira had even scored the goal which won the title for Arsenal on Tottenham’s home ground in that remarkable 2003/04 campaign.

Now plying his trade in the dugout, Vieira is facing the different challenge of pushing his Palace side further up the table.

He has already overseen a big overhaul at the club, having seen 10 players leave the club permanently since the end of last season.

After an opening defeat to Chelsea though, Vieira has steadied the ship slightly with back to back draws against Brentford and West Ham prior to their clash with Tottenham on Saturday.

Facing his team is the difficult task of keeping Harry Kane quiet, but Vieira was keen to stress how his old teammate Thierry Henry was on a “different level” to Tottenham’s talisman.

“Thierry could do everything,” Vieira said.

“He had pace, power, he could run in behind, could get the ball in his feet and dribble past three or four players and go to score the goal. Maybe because I played with Thierry, I see him in a different way.

“Maybe it’s easier for me to talk about Thierry than to talk about Kane. That’s something that you guys have to take into consideration as well! But I see Thierry as in the top three of all time.”

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