Former Nice manager Patrick Vieira ‘being considered for Lyon hotseat’ in potential Ligue 1 return

Former Nice manager Patrick Vieira ‘being considered for Lyon hotseat’ with Ligue 1 outfit seeking successor to outgoing boss Rudi Garcia at the end of the season

  • Patrick Vieira is reportedly a candidate for the imminent vacancy at Ligue 1 Lyon
  • Boss Rudi Garcia will leave the third-placed French club at the end of this season
  • France legend Vieira left Nice in December following their Europa League failure
  • The Premier League icon led New York City before two-and-a-half years at Nice 

Patrick Vieira could return to management by succeeding outgoing boss Rudi Garcia at French giants Lyon, according to reports in France.

Arsenal legend Vieira was axed by Nice in December after a poor run of form and the club’s Europa League departure, and the 44-year-old is now thought to be one of four candidates to take over from Garcia when he departs at the end of this season.

Lyon’s board are said to be increasingly receptive to the idea of appointing Vieira because he would be immediately available for no pay-off, according to L’Equipe.

Patrick Vieira is said to be a candidate to succeed Garcia

Patrick Vieira (right) is said to be in the frame to succeed boss Rudi Garcia when he leaves Lyon

Vieira is looking for his first managerial role since leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Nice in December

Vieira is looking for his first managerial role since leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Nice in December

Les Gones are also keen on Christophe Galtier, who is closing in on the Ligue 1 crown with Lille in a tight title race ahead of PSG and Lyon, and Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi.

Ukrainian heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk have also been strongly linked with De Zerbi, while Marcelo Gallardo, the other name in the reckoning, is understood to want to stay in Argentina with River Plate until the end of the calendar year.

The difficulties of pursuing managers already under contract could push Vieira to the top of the list, potentially handing him his first taste of Champions League football since he played for Inter Milan during their treble-winning 2009/10 campaign.

Lyon could also appoint Sporting Director Juninho, although that could land them penalties from the league as the former Brazil international does not currently hold the required qualifications to lead a team in the French top flight.

The 1998 World Cup and three-time Premier League winner is yet to win a trophy as a manager

The 1998 World Cup and three-time Premier League winner is yet to win a trophy as a manager

Vieira has never won a trophy as a manager, winning 35 and losing 32 of his 89 games in charge of Nice from June 2018.

The three-time Premier League winner left his first job in France after a dismal European campaign in which Nice lost five games out of six in the group stage, including home defeats to Slavia Prague and Bayer Leverkusen.

Nice lured him from New York City, where he had guided the Major League Soccer side to their first ever playoff appearance during a reign that began at the start of 2016.

Manchester City gave him a development role following his retirement in 2011, and Newcastle interviewed Vieira for their managerial vacancy in May 2015.

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Leicester looking to make £35million move for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare

Leicester looking to splash the cash with £35million summer move for star Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare… with the Frenchman having already caught the attention of both Manchester clubs and AC Milan

  • Boubakary Soumare is enjoying the best season of his career at Lille
  • The 22-year-old has played 40 matches this season for the Ligue 1 leaders 
  • Leicester want to add quality as they look set to play in the Champions League
  • The Foxes sit seven points above fifth-placed Tottenham with four games left

Leicester City are reportedly hoping to test Lille’s resolve with a £35million bid for star midfielder Boubakary Soumare. 

The 22-year-old, who is an impressive ball carrier and is comfortable receiving possession in tight spaces, has been at the Ligue 1 pacesetters since a 2017 move from Paris Saint-Germain’s B team and is enjoying his best year to date, with 40 appearances under his belt in all competitions already this term as Christophe Galtier’s men lead perennial champions PSG by a point with just three games remaining. 

His form has already caught the attention of the Manchester clubs and AC Milan this season, with The Sun now reporting that the Foxes are willing to up the ante after it was reported in February that Brendan Rodgers would be looking to capitalise on Soumare’s contract running out in 2022 to drive the asking price down. 

Boubakary Soumare is having his best-ever season and is receiving interest from several clubs

Brendan Rodgers is hoping a £35million bid will break the resolve of Ligue 1 leaders Lille

Brendan Rodgers is hoping a £35million bid will break the resolve of Ligue 1 leaders Lille

Newcastle and West Ham have since cooled their initial interest, but with Rodgers’ side looking set to qualify for next season’s Champions League with a seven-point cushion over fifth-placed Tottenham, adding quality and depth to the squad is a must. 

Soumare is part of the France side that has reached this summer’s European Under-21 Championships knockout stage after the group phase was held in March. 

He came on for Rennes teenage sensation Eduardo Camavinga in the shock 1-0 defeat to Denmark before earning a start in the 2-0 win against Russia before coming off the bench again after just 19 minutes for Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni in the 2-0 victory over Iceland.

Soumare was also an integral part of Lille’s progress to the Europa League round of 16, where they were eliminated 4-2 on aggregate by newly crowned Dutch champions Ajax. 

The 22-year-old has an impressive engine and is comfortable receiving the ball in tight spaces

The 22-year-old has an impressive engine and is comfortable receiving the ball in tight spaces

The youngster showed admirable maturity in turning down offers to move on in January and head coach Galtier praised Soumare’s attitude in February, saying: ‘At every transfer window, we talk about him.

‘I know that he was in demand this winter, but he was very clear with the president, he wants to continue with us.

‘The competition, the transfer window, the situation has not always been easy for him, but I think he has greater clarity in his mind.’

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