After spending nine years in north London as a player, the midfield great has suggested he would be open to a return in the dugout. Patrick Vieira has strongly suggested that he would be interested if Arsenal were to approach him over their vacant managerial post.
The Gunners have been without a boss for over a week, having sacked Unai Emery following a poor sequence of results that has led to them dropping to 10th in the Premier League ahead of their Monday meeting with West Ham.
One of the names linked with the post is Nice head coach Vieira and, while he has reaffirmed his commitment to the Ligue 1 side, the veteran of nine years in north London has done little to disguise his desire to return to Arsenal.
“You can never ignore a club where you’ve spent nine years,” the 43-year-old ‘Invincible’ told Canal + after watching his side record a 4-1 win over lowly Metz on Saturday.
“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.”
Nice have been the subject to significant investment from English billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe this season, though they are still waiting for results to materialise on the pitch.
The Cote d’Azur outfit, who added the likes of Adam Ounas and Kasper Dolberg to their ranks in the final days of the summer transfer window, are currently stationed 12th in Ligue 1 on 23 points, just five short of the top three, which is required for Champions League football in France.
Vieira received more acclaim last term with his achievements for a team that had a significantly smaller budget, with the Allianz Riviera side narrowly missing out on Europa League football, despite playing much of the season without a recognised centre-forward.
A 1998 World Cup-winning midfielder, Vieira played 279 Premier League matches for Arsenal from 1996-2005 and is now into his second top managerial post, having previously coached New York City in the MLS from 2016-18.
Arsenal are currently being led by Vieira’s former team-mate Freddie Ljungberg, though the interim boss has made an inauspicious start in the dugout with a draw at Norwich followed by a disappointing 2-1 home loss to Brighton on Thursday.