Pires pledges to stay
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Robert Pires has pledged his future to Arsenal, despite his contract wrangle.Robert Pires has pledged his future to Arsenal, despite his ongoing contract wrangle.
The Frenchman has just one year left on his current deal and has yet to ink an extension.
The midfielder, 31, is holding out for a two-year extension but, with The Gunners famously reticent about handing over-30s extended deals, has yet to agree new terms.
The impasse has led to rumours Pires could quit Highbury with Internazionale, Valencia and Galatasaray all reported to be interested.
However, the former Metz and Marseille star insists he has no plans to leave North London and is certain he will be staying put and signing a new deal.
"Of course I want to stay at Arsenal, it is my club and I am happy," Pires stated.
Meanwhile, Arsenal's pursuit of new players seems to be gathering pace following their failure to land Brazilian star Julio Baptista.
A new goalkeeper is still thought to be a priority for boss Arsene Wenger and it appears the French tactician is willing to place his faith in Uruguayan youngster Sebastian Viera.
The 22-year-old, who is already his country's number one, currently plies his trade in his homeland for Nacional, but Wenger is ready to strike a £4 million deal.
"He is a great goal stopper," Wenger is reported to have said of the South American.
The Gunners chief also looks set to seal a permanent transfer for trialist Alexandre Song, with his French club Bastia revealing an accord is almost complete.
"The departure of Song is now imminent," a Bastia spokesperson declared.
A new name to emerge on The Gunners' wish-list is Greek striker Georgios Samaras who plays in Holland for Heerenveen.
The 20-year-old has been with the Eredivisie outfit for three seasons and has come to the attention of Wenger's scouting network.