Vieira plays down Palace links to Arsenal striker Nketiah

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has played down talk that he wants to sign Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah this month.

The 22-year-old was reportedly close to joining the Eagles last summer but a deal could not be struck between the two London clubs.

He is out of contract at the end of the season and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has been vocal about his desire to extend the young striker’s stay at the Emirates.

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On if Nketiah will leave this month, the Spaniard said: “The situation is that Eddie is our player & Eddie is going to stay here with us. He’s our player & he’s under contract, so he will stay with us.”

Arsenal are in danger of losing the player for nothing at the end of the season as he is keen to play somewhere he is guaranteed regular playing time.

Mikel Arteta confirms Eddie Nketiah will not leave Arsenal this month. #AFC

— Jason Soutar (@jbsoutar) January 12, 2022

In December it was reported that Nketiah rejected a fresh contract offer. Despite what Arteta said, the north Londoners may be forced to sell in January in order to receive a fee for the striker.

Amidst Crystal Palace’s links to the 22-year-old, Vieira insists there is “nothing” in the rumours.

Talking ahead of Palace’s trip to Brighton on Friday, the Frenchman said: “I have nothing to say about him.

“He is an Arsenal player and his manager makes it clear he will stay at Arsenal. I have nothing to comment.”

The Eagles will be without James Tomkins and James McArthur due to injury at Brighton.

First-choice goalkeeper Vicente Guaita sat out last weekend’s FA Cup win over Millwall but is expected to be fit enough to start at the Amex.

“The only two players who will miss the game tomorrow will be James Tomkins and Macca,” Vieira added, who is also without Cheikhou Kouyate, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha due to their African Cup of Nations commitments.

“Vicente wasn’t ready and wasn’t fit enough to play the (Millwall) game… but I’m hopeful (for Brighton).”

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