Injured Vieira says 'dearest wish' is to stay at Arsenal

PARIS: Patrick Vieira, nursing his sore knee in the south of France, has underlined his desire to remain with Arsenal next season, but has urged the London club to strengthen its squad. 

“I’m discussing with the coach. I know the club has approached quite a few players,” he said in French sports daily L’Equipe yesterday. 

“My dearest wish is to stay at Arsenal. But I want to win titles as well.” 

The Arsenal captain, who will miss the rest of the campaign, including the FA Cup final against Southampton and the Confederations Cup for France, has played with a knee injury sustained in a Champions League game against AS Roma in March. 

But he says carrying on could risk serious injury. 

“Given the condition of my knee, I was facing a tearing of my ligaments at any given time. I had to stop,” he said. 

“I needed to think about the end of my career rather than the end of my season.” 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger announced last week that Vieira’s season was over and French manager Jacques Santini confirmed the 26-year-old player would miss the Confederations Cup to be held in France next month. 

“Doctors said it would take me four to six weeks to recover. I’ll be receiving treatment until the Cup final, in which I won’t be playing, of course,” Vieira said from his rehabilitation centre in St Raphael on the French Riviera. 

“I’m very confident and the doctors too. In any case my objective is to resume training for the new season without pain. It’s an obligation,” he said. – Reuters  

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