Patrick Vieira has been tipped to succeed Rafa Benitez at Newcastle following the Spaniard’s exit, and former Premier League star Mark Bosnich has told talkSPORT that the Frenchman would be a ‘fantastic appointment’.
But while the former Manchester United and Chelsea goalkeeper feels the Arsenal icon could succeed in charge of the Magpies, Vieira’s former teammate in North London Ray Parlour sees the OGC Nice boss moving to St James’ Park more of a ‘stepping stone’ on route to one day occupying the dugout at the Emirates Stadium.
Vieira has been touted as a candidate to succeed Benitez, with it thought Mike Ashley and Managing Director Lee Charnley would consider returning to the Frenchman this summer, after opting for Steve McClaren four years ago when the Premier League winning midfielder showed an interest in starting his managerial career on Tyneside.
Time with New York City FC and Nice since have returned the 43-year-old 56 wins in 131 competitive fixtures, while he saw out the recent Ligue 1 campaign in seventh-place, ten points shy of the European places.
He is now said to be keen on continuing his project at the Allianz Riviera, however there is a release clause in his contract with Les Aiglons that becomes active should the French side change ownership, which they are in discussions with British entrepreneur Jim Ratcliffe over.
Should his buy-out prove successful, and Ashley triggers the release clause, Bosnich thinks Vieira would be a good fit at St James’ Park.
“I think he would be,” the Australian told talkSPORT. “He’s won titles in different countries, he’s done an apprenticeship now for quite some time, and I think it would be a really good opportunity for him and a good club for him to start at as well.
“It might freshen up Newcastle a bit. Out of all the clubs in the Premier League you see with these new big owners coming in and throwing money at them – Newcastle are a true sleeping giant.
“Now, that isn’t going to change overnight because Vieira won’t have the funds available to him compared to Man City and Chelsea. But I just think from a footballing perspective, I think it would be a fantastic appointment.”
While Parlour has no doubt in his Invincibles teammate’s ability, he would like to see Vieira move on to manage Arsenal.
“I’m surprised by the news,” Parlour said, when asked for his take on Vieira being linked with Newcastle. “I always tipped him to be the Arsenal manager one day.
“I’d love to see him back at Arsenal, but this could be the stepping stone, who knows. He was a fantastic player, a really intelligent guy. He knew exactly what he brought to the table every game, and he never let you down, he could handle the pressure.
“Not all great players become great managers, but I could always see him going down that road. To take over from Tony Adams as Arsenal skipper, that was a big loss for us because Tony was a big, big player at centre-half, but Patrick did a wonderful job. He was skipper for about eight years and everyone looked up to him.”