Spaniards join Pires chase

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Villarreal are the latest club to be linked with a move for Arsenal's Robert Pires.

The Frenchman's future at Highbury looks uncertain, with his current contract expiring at the end of the season.

Arsenal are locked in talks with Pires over an extension, but as yet no new deal has been agreed.

The news has alerted other clubs to Pires' possible availability and Juventus, Rangers, Benfica and Roma have all been credited with an interest in the midfielder.

Villarreal are keeping a working brief on Pires' situation and are ready to rival any interested club for the Frenchman.

The Spanish side have also opened contract talks with Alessio Tacchinardi about keeping him at El Madrigal on a permanent basis.

The Italian international is currently on a season-long loan from Juventus and he has impressed during his stint at the club.

Villarreal have expressed a willingness to keep Tacchinardi and reports suggest a deal is close to being agreed.