Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has confirmed that he rejected an offer to join Real Madrid, preferring to stay at Highbury.

“I had an offer through Arsenal to go to Madrid and, when they come in, you have to think about it, look what is going on,” Vieira told The Times.

“But I am really proud of the decision I made because it wasn’t for money. Maybe in football, people are not used to players saying: ‘I’m happy, I don’t need to go for the money’.

“Every year, people said I was going somewhere else, but why should I?

“It is like anyone even if they are working in a normal office. Another company can come in and offer a better contract and he has the responsibility to go or stay.

“The decision might be made for their family and not for themselves.

“It might be made because you like to work with some people.”

Vieira believes that fellow France international Thierry Henry, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, will also be staying at Highbury. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has made no secret of his desire to sign the Arsenal striker, but Vieira is confident that his compatriot would remain with Arsenal.

“Abramovich might want to buy Thierry, but are Arsenal going to let him go?” enquired the former Milan marauder.

“Does Thierry want to go?

“I don’t think any amount of money will make a difference.

“Thierry is like me – he needs to be happy. He needs to feel he is working for success.

“People say money can buy anyone but I’m not so sure.”