Patrick Vieira has been linked with Arsenal. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Patrick Vieira says he has not been contacted by Arsenal about succeeding Arsene Wenger as coach at the English Premier League club.
The New York City FC head coach has been linked with the Gunners in the wake of Wenger stepping down as coach after 22 seasons.
“Honestly, and seriously, no,” Vieira told reporters at the opening of City’s 17-acre training facility, Etihad City Football Academy in Orangeburg, N.Y. Tuesday.
“Why haven’t I been contacted? I still have [a contract], of course, [until] next year. It’s going to be my contract at least until the end of the season.
“And then after that anything can happen, but I have a contract until the end of the season.
“Of course, because you’re talking about Arsenal Football Club, and it’s a big football club, it’s an honor, but I have never been in touch.”
Then Vieira made light of the situation. “I’m sure [the press] will know before I do,” if Arsenal reaches out,” he said.
Vieira, who is in his third season as NYCFC head coach, had been tipped by Wenger as a possible successor.
“It’s good I think when your name is linked with big teams in Europe,” Vieira said. “It shows that people are following what you’re doing and you’re doing a good job. I’m really pleased with that.
“What’s important for me is to focus and concentrate at what I’m going at the moment. My head and my mind and my energy is on how to win our next game.”
NYCFC’s next game is against FC Dallas at Yankee Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
City leads the Eastern Conference with a 5-1-2 mark and 17 points after suffering its first loss of the season at the Portland Timbers last Sunday.