Former Arsenal midfielder and current Nice manager Patrick Vieira has refused to rule out the possibility of taking over at his old club.
The Gunners sacked Unai Emery last month after a tumultuous start to the season and have since placed Vieira’s ex-Invincibles teammate Freddie Ljungberg in temporary charge.
Could Vieira join Arsenal? Five things to know…
- Unai Emery was relieved of his managerial duties last month after overseeing a poor start to the season.
- Freddie Ljungberg has taken over on an interim basis but is yet to win after his first two games.
- The likes of Vieira, Massimiliano Allegri and Mikel Arteta have been linked with the vacant post.
- Vieira is currently in his second season as manager of Ligue 1 club Nice.
- He has now seemingly confirmed his interest in the available position at Arsenal.
However, the Swede has so far overseen two winless games heading into Monday’s clash with West Ham, and fans are beginning to grow restless at the Emirates.
Of the names being linked with the vacant dugout, Vieira’s is one that particularly stands out, most notably because of his association with the club – having played in north London for eight years – and managerial credentials.
The Frenchman guided Nice to seventh last season and worked wonders with New York City before that. When quizzed on the Arsenal job, he refused to poor cold water on the speculation.
“You can never ignore a club where you’ve spent nine years,” the 43-year-old ‘Invincible’ told Canal+.
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“But, honestly, I’m focused on this project at Nice, I feel very good here. It’s a very exciting project.
“I’ve always said that I’m very happy in Nice. We’re all working to move the club forward and there is potential.”
Despite receiving significant financial backing over the summer, a result of British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe investing in the club, Nice have struggled to replicate their form from the previous campaign.
The likes of Kasper Dolberg, Alexis Claude-Maurice and Adam Ounas were all brought to the Allianz Riviera but results have so far been underwhelming. That said, Vieira proved his worth last season, masterminding a top-half finish on a significantly tighter budget.
Arsenal meanwhile currently sit in the bottom half of the Premier League table and could move level on points with strugglers West Ham should Manuel Pellegrini’s men come out on top at the London Stadium on Monday night.