Mike Ashley and Managing Director Lee Charnley have commenced their search for Rafa Benitez’s successor, but Patrick Vieira will not be standing in the Newcastle dugout come August.
The OGC Nice boss emerged as a potential candidate to replace Benitez in the St James’ Park hot-seat shortly after the club confirmed the Spaniard would be leaving Tyneside at the end of his contract, with it noted that Vieira has a potential release clause in his contract at the Ligue 1 side.
It was already known that the former Arsenal midfielder would be reluctant to leave his project in France though, and he has now made it clear, in quotes reported by Yahoo Sports, that he has no aspirations of joining the Magpies anytime soon.
Vieira had been in talks to take up a role with United four years ago, but former England boss Steve McClaren was favoured thanks to the relationship he shared with then-Chief Scout Graham Carr. That may now prove to be the closest he ever comes to being our head coach, even if former Premier League goalkeeper Mark Bosnich feels the 1998 World Cup winner would be a ‘fantastic appointment’.
Speaking on Monday following Nice’s return for pre-season training, Vieira stated that his intentions are to remain at the Allianz Riviera, as it’s going to be an ambitious season for his side.
“I’m in Nice for the long term,” Vieira said. “I do not intend to look anywhere else. I’ve always felt good here and with the people around me. I don’t see myself anywhere but at OGC Nice.
“I’m very happy to be back with the players and [to] get back on the field. We could see that the players had followed the program. In terms of intensity and work, the players were very good for a first day.
“It’s going to be an ambitious season for the club. You have to get back to work to be ready in August.”