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REPORT: Patrick Vieira pursued by Ligue 1 clubs

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According to reports, Nice and Nantes are both vying for the services of the French manager

MLS: New York City FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the soon-to-be vacant Arsenal job being allegedly off the table, rumblings about New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira departing for greener pastures in the summer remain high as several clubs have reportedly inquired about the French manager’s services.

According to FrenchFootball, Ligue 1 club OGC Nice have reached out to Vieira for him to succeed current manager Lucien Favre, the latter of whom will be departing for German heavyweights Borrusia Dortmund at season’s end. The report says that the French club and the current NYCFC manager have already been involved in preliminary meetings and that the talks have been positive.

But, the Eaglets are allegedly not the only ones vying for the French legend’s services.

According to ESPN.com, Vieira has also been pursued by FC Nantes who, like Nice, are also members of France’s top flight. When asked specifically about the former Arsenal legend, Nantes president Waldemar Kita spoke cryptically, saying “we’re considering everyone.” It should also be noted that up until this point, the Canaries have courted former Barcelona reserve manager Gerard Lopez, as well as former Bordeaux boss Jocelyn Gourvennec for the open manager spot.

Whether there is something to these rumors or not, it has understandably caused a ruckus among the NYCFC faithful. After supplanting Jason Kreis following the disaster that was New York City’s inaugural 2015 season, Vieira has undoubtedly created a winning culture in the five boroughs with the Bronx Blues finishing 2nd in the Eastern Conference in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and are currently in the thick of the hunt for the 2018 Supporter’s Shield as well as a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League. And despite showing some shakiness in do-or-die situations, things have been relatively smooth sailing when it comes to City’s performance.

But now, fans of NYCFC are faced with a scary possibility: change. We have become so familiar and synonymous with winning under Patty V, that the simple prospect of a changing of the guard could very well be a dreaded one.

After all, it’s not just winning that Vieira has introduced to NYCFC. It’s also the players that he attracts.

One could easily argue that players like younger players in their prime like Alex Ring and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi would not be attracted to an MLS club had it not been for the opportunity to player under someone who was one of the best players of his generation. It is that otherworldly aura about Vieira that has helped catapult NYCFC to the top of some players’ wishlist over the past two years. And should the gaffer find it best to show off his tactical prowess elsewhere, a vast overhaul in how we sign talent could be on the horizon.

Obviously, it’s foolish for anyone to think that we could’ve held a manager in as high regard as Vieira is for too long. Hell, his appointment to the NYCFC was always viewed — at least by me — as a way for CFG to groom the budding manager into possibly taking over for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola one day. But I never envisioned such things occurring in the middle of what could be our most fruitful season yet.

For now, we as fans must do our best at focusing on the task at hand. But don’t think for a second that this background noise won’t become progressively louder in the coming days or weeks.