Patrick Vieira last week denied he was going to join Nice. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Hmmm, now where did we hear this before?
L’Equipe continues to pursuit that Patrick Vieira is heading to Nice in French Ligue 1.
Monday’s editions of the publication says that a deal for the New York City head coach is still in the works and is “90 percent done.”
L’Equipe also reported that Nice will need to pay equivalent of Vieira’s remaining salary — which is seven months, through the end of the year — to City Football Group, NYCFC’s owners. The publication said the only thing to negotiate was Vieira’s transfer fee.
The story was on page 16 of the magazine.
After L’Equipe reported a story that Vieira was negotiating with the club May 19, the NYCFC coach denied anything was afoot last week.
“It makes me smile, because of course there’s no contract being signed or anything like that,” Vieira said at the time.
“This is the wrong information. I’m here, like always. I’m really happy. I really enjoy my work, I really enjoy being part of this football club. I’m just focusing and concentrating about our next game.
“I don’t want players, myself, my staff or anybody in this football club to be distracted by what’s going on. My head, my focus and my energy are here.
“Things that I can control are being here, having my head, my energy to this football club and then everything going out is out of my hands. I can’t control what’s going on in France, what’s going on England or what’s going on anywhere else.
“I have a fantastic relationship with the people of this football club. We’ve always been clear with each other. For me this is the most important. The other things, I let people do what they need to do or say what they need to say.”
Vieira has enjoyed living in New York City since his tenure as NYCFC head coach began in 2016.
City is in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 7-3-3 mark and 24 points, trailing Atlanta United FC (8-3-1, 25) and Columbus Crew SC (7-3-4, 25). In its last four matches, the team is 1-2-1, scoring seven goals and conceding nine.
NYCFC will host Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m.