Patrick Vieira has distanced himself from Swedish billionaire Daniel Eck’s bid to buy his former club Arsenal.
Vieira and his former Arsenal teammates Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry backed Spotify founder’s takeover bid in April after the club became involved in the failed Europa League project.
Stan Kroenke, who owns the club through his company Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, turned down the offer but Henry said last month that AEK remained fully committed to buying Arsenal and “we and he are here to stay”.
Former Arsenal captain Vieira was later appointed Crystal Palace coach in July and is set to return emotionally to North London on Monday night, live. Sky Sports.
“I was only expressing myself as Patrick, a former Arsenal footballer,” Vieira said when asked about his support for AEK’s takeover plans.
“This comment was based on the way (the club) is going.
“I was talking to someone who has a different view and a different way of going (forward) to Arsenal Football Club.
“That was the reason why Dennis and Terry got involved in the kind of situation that Arsenal were in.
“I’m in a different situation than I was two months ago. So I won’t express myself in the same way I did when I was just a former Arsenal footballer.”
Henry confirmed in September that there was no dialogue between the Kroenke family and Eck about a possible change of ownership for Arsenal.
But Henry, Arsenal’s record scorer, indicated that the deal was not over, saying: “It hasn’t happened yet, but we and we are here to stay. So let’s see what happens.”
However, Vieira said: “When you look at the situation at the time, it was clear that the Kroenke family was making a statement that the club was not for sale.
Then I think it’s all over. You cannot buy a football club if it is not for sale.
Vieira returned to Arsenal for the first time as a manager nearly six years after beginning his managerial career at MLS in New York City.
The 45-year-old also managed at Nice in the French Ligue 1.
“Back from the time of Manchester City (as manager of the elite development team) and where I am today it was up and down,” Vieira said. “But overall, I’m really happy with the journey I’ve had so far.
“What I really wanted was to go back to the Premier League to manage it and I’m really fortunate to be at a good football club.
“There is a basis for expressing myself as a manager and I want to develop with the football club.
“This football club is really ambitious, because as a manager, we can both achieve good things here.
“The club wants to be bigger and to challenge bigger things, and we are in the process of developing something very interesting.”