Italian champions Juventus FC have pulled off the €20m signing of Arsenal FC's France midfielder Patrick Vieira.
End of an era
The two clubs have agreed a deal totalling €20m for the 29-year-old French international midfielder, who has signed a five-year contract with Juventus after passing a medical. Vieira's move away from Arsenal ends a nine-year association with the club he joined for €5.7m in 1996 after spells with AC Milan and AS Cannes.
Vieira played a major part in transforming Arsenal's fortunes under manager Arsène Wenger, helping the Londoners to Premiership and FA Cup doubles in 1998 and 2002, as well as a further league title in 2004 and FA Cup successes in 2003 and 2005. In all, he made 279 Premiership appearances.
'Meet a new challenge'
"I made the decision to leave because I felt it was time to have a new challenge," Vieira said. "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."
Wenger added: "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. His impact, not only at Arsenal but in English football overall, was just tremendous."