Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira features among an up to six-strong shortlist of candidates Manchester City are considering as replacements for manager Pep Guardiola, according to reports.
Guardiola arrived at City in the summer of 2016 and has guided the club to a decorated period in their history, winning two successive Premier League titles including by becoming the first side to reach 100 points in the 2017/18 campaign.
However, the Spaniard’s contract expires at the end of next season and despite him insisting that he will honour the terms of his deal, there have been no hints that an extension is on the horizon.
According to The Athletic, key City decision-makers Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain have therefore already began planning for who could succeed Guardiola.
The source claims that City are considering between three and six candidates, although former Arsenal midfielder Vieira is the only candidate named.
Vieira, who retired in 2013, wasted no time in learning his trade as a manager and spent two-and-a-half years as City’s Under-21s boss.
The Frenchman then went to the USA with New York City FC and has been manager of Ligue 1 side Nice since the summer of 2018.
It is thought Guardiola could remain at The Etihad past his current deal if City begin to see success in the Champions League, the only trophy the manager is yet to win with the Premier League champions.
City reached the semi-finals in 2016 but were knocked out by Real Madrid, with Monaco, Liverpool and Tottenham progressing past Guardiola’s side in the following three campaigns.
This season, City had beat Real 2-1 at the Bernabeu in the first leg of their last 16 tie before the season was brought to a halt.
There is also the uncertainty surrounding the club’s ban from European football, handed out by UEFA in February and set to be appealed against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.