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New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira is reportedly unhappy after he received a “token gesture” phone call about potentially taking over at Arsenal.
According to Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports News, the Frenchman is unsure about the significance of the approach made by the Gunners, who are on the hunt for a new manager after the departure of the legendary Arsene Wenger.
The former midfielder is said to have been “left disappointed after speaking with the club and feels the call was merely a token gesture to one of their former players.”
It’s been reported by Solhekol that Vieira’s former team-mate and Arsenal’s all-time top scorer Thierry Henry is not in the frame to take over from Wenger. Former Gunners captain Mikel Arteta is now said to be the favourite for the position.
David Ornstein of BBC Sport also reported that Arsenal had reached out to Vieira, but he is not high up on Arsenal’s list of candidates:
David Ornstein @bbcsport_david
Also among those contacted by Arsenal during the process is another of their former captains – Patrick Vieira. Unclear if it’s gone any further than that but don’t sense the current New York City FC head coach will be the first-choice candidate for #AFC
The 41-year-old is in charge of the Major League Soccer side, having joined the club in 2016 after a stint with the Manchester City reserve team.
In his time with NYCFC, Vieira led the team to their first-ever play-off appearance, although they were defeated in the MLS Cup conference semi-finals by Toronto. Vieira continued to reshape the squad in 2017 and they finished second in Eastern Conference before suffering elimination at the same stage in the post-season.
IAN HODGSON/Associated Press
In 2018 the team has got off to another solid start. However, when asked about potentially taking over from Wenger recently, Vieira said he would jump at the chance. “If the question is, if I’m ready,” he was asked by Goal (h/t Sky Sports). “Yes, I’m ready.”
According to French football journalist Matt Spiro, while the Arsenal job appears set to elude Vieira, he is wanted by a number of clubs from Ligue 1:
Matt Spiro @mattspiro
French clubs queuing up for Patrick Vieira… he turned down Rennes and St Etienne last year, Nantes now interested, & reports this morning Nice want him to replace Favre who looks set for Dortmund (Nice Matin). A stint in Ligue 1 – outside #MCFC group – would be proper test
His managerial career remains in the early stages, but Vieira’s pedigree and reputation as a player would make him an interesting appointment for any club in European football.
During his time at Arsenal the Frenchman was a colossus, as he helped inspire the north London club to three Premier League titles and three FA Cup wins. The power and leadership he showcased on a regular basis made him a force in one the Gunners’ greatest-ever sides.
It appears as though Arsenal are going down a different route this time, although Vieira’s association with the capital club means it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him take charge at the Emirates at some point in the future.