x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Vieira set for return to England

Vieira played in Inter's 1-0 win at Chievo yesterday, but was expected to head to Manchester to finalise terms on a loan deal with his former coach Roberto Mancini.

Patrick Vieira's return to English football with Manchester City could move a step closer today. The French midfielder, who left Arsenal in 2005, said talks had been "going well" for a reunion with his former Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini. Vieira played in Inter's 1-0 win at Chievo yesterday, but was expected to head to Manchester to finalise terms on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Mancini, the new City manager, has turned to Vieira, 33, as he pursues a place in the Premier League's top four. One player not coming to City is Juan Veron, a former player at rivals Manchester United, who claimed he had rejected an approach. City deny any bid to his club Estudiantes, but the Argentine midfielder said: "I can't leave, I'd be going against my convictions." Mancini has been given approval to strengthen despite financial figures published yesterday which highlighted the huge investment by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed since he bought them in September 2008.

Annual losses of £92.6million (Dh546m) were recorded - the second-biggest in English football history following Chelsea's £140.4m in 2004-05. The figures run to May 31, 2009, and don't include last summer's transfers which saw City spend around £120m more on players. Turnover increased by six per cent to £87m and Sheikh Mansour has turned the £304.9m shareholder loans he made to City into equity, which leaves them debt-free.

He also bought shares to a value of £89.6m. Graham Wallace, City's chief financial and administration officer, said: "The results reflect a period of rapid change at the club and the result of long-term planning and investment by the board." Last night's game between Arsenal and Bolton was called off because of heavy snow. @Email:akhan@thenational.ae