Nerazzurri complete £6.5m Vieira deal

August 2, 2006

France midfielder Patrick Vieira has been sold to Internazionale from Juventus for £6.5million.

The announcement was made by Juventus this morning through the Italian stock exchange.

The Turin giants bought Vieira from Arsenal for £13.7million last summer, but players are being sold following the team's relegation to Serie B as punishment for their role in the Italian match-fixing scandal.

The statement said: 'French midfielder Patrick Vieira is officially sold from Juventus to Inter for 9.5m euros, payable in three years.'

As well as dropping into Italy's second division, Juventus have been told they face a 17-point deduction to start the 2006-07 campaign.

The club have lodged an appeal against the penalty to CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee), the highest sporting body in Italy.

But by joining Inter, Vieira will play for title contenders in Serie A and he will also take part in the Champions League.

One of the consequences of Juventus' punishment is they were stripped of last season's title, and with second-placed AC Milan also punished for match-fixing, Inter were awarded the Serie A crown.

Vieira, who played for France when they hosted and won the World Cup in 1998 and also captured the European Championship two years later, has signed a four-year contract at Inter.

He shot to prominence in England with Arsenal, moving to the Gunners from AC Milan in August 1996.

Under French coach Arsene Wenger, Vieira won three league titles and four FA Cups during his time at Highbury.

The 30-year-old started his career with French club Cannes before leaving in November 1995 to join Milan, where he spent less than one season before moving on to Arsenal for £4million.

Vieira, who made 31 league appearances for Juve last season and scored five goals, was strongly linked with Manchester United but instead has opted to remain in the north of Italy.