Pires would welcome England return

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has welcomed speculation linking him with a return to the Premier League after four seasons in La Liga with Villarreal.

Pires, 36, is available on a free transfer after failing to gain a new deal at Villarreal and the World Cup-winning midfielder is considering his options having attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

West Ham United, Birmingham City and Leicester City are believed to be among those to have expressed an interest in Pires.

The former Marseille man feels he still has what it takes to compete in the Premier League but has not ruled out the possibility of joining a second tier outfit like Leicester.

"If the right kind of club expresses an interest, I have no problem going over and doing a pre-season so they can have a closer look at me," said Pires.

"There's obviously a few big English teams chasing me. I'm told Leicester and Birmingham have made serious enquiries.

"I still think I can play in the Premier League, but the challenge of getting a team like Leicester promoted is very appealing, especially with maybe two seasons left in my legs."

Pires enjoyed six successful years in North London with his 84 goals contributing to two league titles and three FA Cup triumphs for Arsene Wenger's side.  

And a return to England appears to be an attractive prospect for the Frenchman, with several clubs already showing interest in the star.

By Saad Noor

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