Patrick Vieira has all of the necessary qualities to one day become manager of Manchester City, according to Arsene Wenger.
The 38-year-old has emerged as a surprise contender to replace Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad, following a disappointing season for the Sky Blues.
Vieira has already cut his teeth at the club, working as manager of Manchester City’s elite development squad and reserve side.
This role has seen the France World Cup winner go from strength-to-strength as a coach, with the club’s under-19 side winning all six of their UEFA Youth League group stage fixtures this season.
That return saw the former midfielder emerge as a possible target for Bayern Munich, with Bild claiming that the Bavarians have targeted Vieira as the man to manage their own youth side.
And the Bundesliga champions are not alone in their admiration of the 38-year-old’s managerial efforts, with Wenger also praising his qualities.
Vieira played nearly 280 Premier Leagues games under the French manager at Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in that time.
Named captain by Wenger during his spell at the club, it would appear that Le Professor is still full of admiration for his former charge.
Quizzed on whether Senegal-born star could replace the current City boss, the Frenchman offered up an answer of sorts, though it appeared to be through gritted teeth.
“I believe like many other players he has the intelligence and the competence to do this job, but I believe that Pellegrini is of super-competence and super-quality as well – so if you want me to interfere in that, I am not ready to do it,” he said.
Though not an out and out endorsement, the comments nevertheless add some extra weight to the argument that Vieira could yet emerge as Manchester City’s very own version of Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola began his work in management with the Barcelona B team, guiding the Catalan reserve side to promotion in his single season in charge.
He may represent a gamble but the former Arsenal man could yet surprise.
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