Barcelona keen on Vieira capture

Barcelona are reportedly keen on recruiting Inter Milan midfielder Patrick Vieira in January to help fill the voids left by players participating in the African Cup of Nations.

Arsenal, along with their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur, were strongly linked with a move for the 33-year-old Frenchman earlier this summer.

However, a move for the midfield enforcer, who made more than 250 league appearances and won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups during his time at Highbury, failed to materialise, with Vieira opting to stay at the San Siro and fight for his place under Jose Mourinho.

But with the African Cup of Nations due to be staged in early 2010 in Angola, clubs are already plotting contingency plans in order to cope while several of their star players are away.

Inter Milan are believed to be weighing up a January move to sign Lazio striker Goran Pandev to deputise for Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o, with Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari also set to be missing for the Serie A champions.

While in Spain, treble winners Barcelona will lose defensive midfield duo Yaya Toure and Seydou Keita to the Ivory Coast and Mali respectively.

And, according to, Pep Guardiola is keen on recruiting Vieira to help plug the gap left by two of his central midfield lynchpins, allowing the Frenchman to team up with former Arsenal colleague Thierry Henry at the Camp Nou.