Arsenal's Pires to join Villarreal

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:40 IST

Villarreal president Fernando Roig said on Wednesday that Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires would join the club next week on a two-year contract.

Arsenal's Pires to join Villarreal

Madrid:

Villarreal president Fernando Roig said on Wednesday that Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires would join the club next week on a two-year contract.Pires, whose contract with Arsenal is about to expire, follows Turkey striker Nihat Kahveci to Villareal. Nihat's signing from Real Sociedad was announced on Tuesday."Nihat is a done deal and next week Pires will arrive and these are Villarreal's first two signings," said Roig."Pires is a player who is going to play today in the Champions League final. And when the game is over he will be free from his commitments and will come to be presented by Villarreal,'' he added.Improvement planRoig said the acquisition of the former French international would continue his plan to improve Villarreal year by year."Next season we're going to have a smaller squad, either 19 or 20, but we'll have players with a higher standard,'' he said.Pires played against Villarreal in the Champions League semifinal which Arsenal won 1-0 on aggregate. He said after the first leg he was considering the Spanish team's offer of a two-year deal.Pires was expected to be in the starting lineup for Wednesday's Champions League final against FC Barcelona in Paris.Personal achievementsPires, 32, was a member of France's World Cup winning squad in 1998 but hasn't played for France since falling out with national coach Raymond Domenech in 2004.Pires joined Arsenal from Marseille after helping France win the European championship in 2000. He won the Premier League twice and the FA Cup three times with the Gunners.Villarreal finished seventh in this season's Spanish league, securing a place in Europe's offseason Intertoto Cup. (AP)



Topics : Football Arsenal
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