Arsenal

Patrick Vieira responds to two Crystal Palace star transfer links with Arsenal

The 29-year-old was a key target of former boss Unai Emery before the Gunners signed Nicolas Pepe in 2019 and has been consistently linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium.

Patrick Vieira insists there is ‘no truth’ in Arsenal’s links with Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

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Zaha netted his team’s third goal in Palace’s 3-0 victory against Arsenal at Selhurst Park on Monday, which damaged the north London club’s chances of securing a top-four finish.

Mikel Arteta was granted £160million worth of new signings last summer, with a host of new signings also expected in the next transfer window.

But Vieira has dismissed any speculation suggesting Zaha could be on the way to Arsenal.

‘He has been linked after the [Arsenal] game?! There is no truth about that,’ said Vieira.

‘I believe Wilfried is an important player for the team, for the football club, he is a really good inspiration for the young players that we have.

‘He knows this club better than anybody else and when he is performing like that, you know you only want to keep your best players. And he is one of them.’

In terms of the Gunners’ transfer business, when Arteta was asked if he anticipates a busy summer at the north London club, the Spaniard said: ‘I am expecting so, yes.

‘I think both competitions [the Champions League and Europa League] require a much larger squad because the amount of games you play is much bigger in both, so I don’t think [which you qualify for] makes a lot of difference or changes a lot.

‘If you can financially afford it and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to do, if you ask me what I want it’s 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers.

‘You have to come a long way in the aspects that you see on the pitch, it’s a lot of things that have to be put in place, and that takes time.’

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