Following New York City FC’s 3-0 loss to the Portland Timbers on Sunday, Patrick Vieira was asked a few times about whether he’d manage Arsenal, if he were asked to do so. He repeatedly shut down that line of questioning, mostly saying variations of “I’m just here to talk about this game” or some such. Considering his team got pasted, you’d think he’d rather talk about anything else, but that’s just me.
Anyway, today, Vieira is singing slightly different lyrics to the exact same tune. He told the Times that he’s not immune to hearing/reading what’s going on:
I mentally know what’s going on, what people are saying
and that he’s at least thinking about his next move:
I don’t want this to be perceived that I want to go because I don’t want to leave. But if the question is as simple as ‘are you ready to manage any teams in Europe?’ then I would say yes. I am ready.
Which, given that he’s under contract, is probably all he can say without running afoul of tampering rules, a fact that he also acknowleges:
(City Football Group) will make the decision because I’m under contract here. It’s not just about checking my phone. It’s going to be more complex than that because I’m under contract
It would be awkward, but not unprecedented, for a coach to leave part way through a season. There’s obviously a lot of real estate between here and there, but the fact that Vieira would actively consider the job is interesting and hopefully CFG will, if the call comes, negotiate a graceful exit for him.