Last updated : 04 August 2004 By Editor
All the dailies carry the report that Madrid have supposedly done a deal with Arsenal for Vieira. This from the Guardian:

Arsenal last night accepted a £23.1m fee for their captain Patrick Vieira from Real Madrid, according to Spanish radio reports.

Cadena SER, a mouthpiece for Madrid, last night reported that everything was in place for the deal to be completed before tomorrow's deadline for player registration for the early rounds of the Champions League. It is understood that, having faxed an offer of £16.5m on Monday, the Spanish club's president Florentino Peréz then phoned Arsenal with a £23.1m bid that met their asking price.

Vieira is understood to have already agreed terms on a four-year contract with Real Madrid last week.

However, Vieira's desire to leave Highbury has been underlined by his acceptance of what is effectively a 25% wage cut to £3m a year net.

Throughout the negotiations Peréz resisted Vieira's request for parity with their galácticos such as Zinédine Zidane.

Gerrard in dreamland:

"I first started going to Anfield just after the team won the title in 1990. I didn't get to see them lift that trophy, and really we haven't been close since - it has become so frustrating.

"I can't understand why we haven't won it, because we've had - and have got - some very good players, and that is the most annoying thing. It's not good enough really. It's got to change because it's 14 years and that's too long.

"The highest I've finished is second one year, but even then we weren't really that close to actually winning it.

"I decided to stay here because I love the club, that's been well documented. And I am really optimistic about this season - really excited about it. Hopefully we can start putting that record right before too long.

"Results don't lie, and even though everyone knows we have won cups over the last five or six years, the league is the most important thing to us.

"I think we have to become more of a team. I think we have to work harder for each other. Also, we have to learn more, tactically, and learn to be more consistent.

"But watching the boys in training since they came back, you can see how hard they have been working. There does seem to be something different about the place from the last five or six years."

Dwight Yorke:

Harry Redknapp is expected to make a new bid for Dwight Yorke after Blackburn turned down Portsmouth's initial offer of £400,000 and said that they wanted to keep the former Aston Villa and Manchester United forward.