Arsenal Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for the transfer of Patrick Vieira to Juventus for a total fee of 20 million Euros.

Patrick has also finalised his personal terms and conditions with Juventus.

The Club would like to take this opportunity to recognise the enormous contribution Patrick has made to Arsenal since he joined as Arsène Wenger's first signing in 1996. During his time at the Club, Patrick made over 400 first team appearances, with three years as Captain and was instrumental in the Club winning three Premiership titles and the FA Cup on four occasions.

Also during his time at Arsenal, Patrick enjoyed great success with the French national team, by winning the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships in 2000. He also became the Captain of France and made a total of 79 caps for France as an Arsenal player.

Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wish Patrick the best of luck for the future.

Speaking to, Manager Arsène Wenger said: "I share the sadness with our supporters that Patrick has left us, but on the other hand I would say to them trust us and support us. We'll be strong next season and we need you behind us like you have always been. We will not disappoint you.

"Patrick was a great player for us, one of the greatest in the Club's history and I feel I had a special relationship with him because I made him come here. I think his impact, not only at Arsenal but in English football overall was just tremendous.

"The sad thing is that he leaves us, but the good thing is that he leaves us on a high. His last kick for the Club was symbolic as it won us the FA Cup.

"Patrick will always be special for Arsenal Football Club, always in our hearts and our minds. All I can do is thank him for all he gave to the Club and wish him well in his career."

Patrick Vieira added: "When you spend nine years at the Club, like I did, it is a difficult decision to leave. But in the end you have to make a choice for your future. It was a very difficult decision, but I am happy with it.

"I made the decision to leave because I felt it was time for me to have a new challenge. But that does not mean I was unhappy or that I was having a problem at Arsenal.

"It was just that I had the feeling I needed to grow and meet a new challenge, and I feel Juventus was the best challenge for me.

"I'd like to thank the Arsenal fans. They have been fabulous. Even recently in the street they were saying 'if you are going, then thanks for the last nine years'. That is really touching and it makes me feel that I gave my best for the Club.

"I can go with my head held high. I did my best every day in training and in every match, and I left shaking the hand of Arsène Wenger and Mr Dein. That was really important to me."


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14 Jul 2005