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NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira “very close” to Nice contract

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Patrick Vieira’s tenure in Major League Soccer has brought about significant improvement in his New York City FC side, but his current club will have to forge its progress without the Frenchman.

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Pro Soccer Talk can confirm reports out of France that the former Arsenal midfielder is in contact with Ligue 1 side Nice to become the club’s next manager, however, Vieira hasn’t finalized a deal yet.

This story was first reported by French outlet L’Equipe on Sunday morning.

PST has learned through several sources that Vieira is “very close” to signing with the eighth-place French side from 2017/18, and a deal is expected to be completed within the coming days despite Vieira’s commitment to NYCFC.


(Update) Nice representatives, including managing director Julien Fournier, are currently in ongoing negotiations with Vieira and his camp, which flew to France on Monday.

A source familiar with the contract discussions told PST that a deal by the end of the week is “very possible,” although the NYCFC manager is expected back in New York for the team’s training on Tuesday.

Additionally, PST has been able to confirm reports that Nice is negotiating a two-year deal with the former France international.

City Football Group, in conjunction with NYCFC, have resisted allowing their manager to leave as best as possible, however, another source says “a move away from Yankee Stadium is almost inevitable.”

Vieira is still viewed as the French side’s number one managerial target, after former coach Lucien Favre was let go by the club last week. Favre has taken the vacant Borussia Dortmund job.


Vieira’s contract with NYCFC runs through the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

Another source close to the situation told PST that Vieira will likely take over his new post prior to the start of this summer’s World Cup in Russia, which begins on June 14, pending finalization of a deal with Nice.

Meanwhile, Nantes — who recently parted ways with manager Claudio Ranieri — has also had interest in Vieira’s services. Nantes finished one spot behind Nice in the final Ligue 1 table this season.

The French transfer window doesn’t open until June 1, despite the Premier League’s recent shift to a May 17 opening and August 9 close — prior to the opening kick off of the season.

Other top European leagues, including La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A have all continued their June 1 start dates for the summer transfer window — which runs until the final day of August.

Favre has already found a new destination with Borussia Dortmund, who will once again be involved in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Nice features a number of top-rated players at the moment, including notable transfer targets Mario Balotelli, Jean-Michael Seri and on-loan defender Marlon Santos (Barcelona).

Vieira joined NYCFC in 2016, after previously being involved in parent club Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad (EDS) as a coach.

He played professionally from 1994 to 2011, including a lengthy stint internationally for France, which featured a 1998 World Cup win and runner up in 2006 to Italy.

Since taking over in the Bronx, NYCFC has become one of MLS’ elite sides, and currently sits in second place in the Eastern Conference and MLS table on 24 points through 12 matches.

The 41-year-old Frenchman recently received some interest from Arsenal over the London side’s vacant managerial position left by Arsene Wenger, however, Vieira suggested that the approach from the Gunners was a mere gesture of courtesy.

Vieira has previously been linked to a number of European jobs, including Saint Etienne and Southampton, neither of which came to fruition.

Ligue 1: Monaco, Lyon qualify for UCL; Weah’s first start for PSG

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PARIS (AP) — Memphis Depay scored a hat trick as Lyon came from behind to beat Nice 3-2 and qualify for the Champions League at the expense of Marseille in the French league on Saturday.

Lyon, which had a one-point lead over Marseille ahead of the last round, kept its lead intact and finished in third place behind Paris Saint-Germain and deposed champion Monaco. The first three teams in the French league qualified for the Champions League.

“Lots of joy tonight, everybody was very focused and motivated,” said Lyon forward Nabil Fekir, who is widely expected to leave the club this summer. “It caps an exceptional season.”

Alassane Plea scored Nice’s goals.

Depay scored all three goals in the second half.

Nice coach Lucien Favre confirmed he will leave the club in the offseason.


After losing the Europa League final to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, Marseille missed out on the Champions League for the second time despite beating Amiens 2-1.

“We had a superb season but our efforts did not pay off,” Marseille top striker Florian Thauvin said.

Marseille ended fourth and will play the Europa League next season alongside Rennes and Bordeaux.


Monaco won at Troyes 3-0 and finished runner-up, 13 points behind PSG, which drew at Caen 0-0. The goalless draw guaranteed Caen stayed in the topflight while Troyes was demoted to the second division.

Monaco needed just one point to qualify for the Champions League but made sure it finished runner-up with a win. The Principality side was in complete control as Rony Lopes scored twice and Jordi Mboula sealed Troyes’ fate in added time.

Troyes finished 19th and joined last-place Metz in the second division.

Toulouse, which beat Guingamp 2-1, will have to win a playoff against a second-division club to remain in the topflight.

Elsewhere, Italian coach Claudio Ranieri won his last game in charge of mid-table Nantes, 1-0 over Strasbourg.


In the absence of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, PSG coach Unai Emery gave Timothy Weah — George Weah’s 18-year-old son — his first start in Caen.

Caen finished the season with only 27 goals, the worst total since Arles-Avignon was demoted with 21 in 2011.

West Ham promises manager with “proven record both in Premier League and Europe”

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West Ham is readying its successor to David Moyes, and making lofty claims about its work.

With current Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez seemingly on the lips on anyone naming candidates for the gig, a press release which includes quotes from West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has described some handsome characteristics on their next boss.

[ MORE: France’s loaded World Cup squad ]

West Ham United would like to assure supporters that the Board are extremely confident of appointing a high-calibre first-team manager, who has a proven record both in the Premier League and European football.”

Benitez has been often mentioned for the gig, but Manuel Pellegrini and recently available Claudio Ranieri also fit the bill (if we’re talking “both”).

“This is an exciting time for our football club. We are preparing to appoint a manager who has a proven record of success at the highest level of the game,” Sullivan said.

That sure sounds like they have their man. Benitez is rumored to have a release clause in his Newcastle deal.

Nantes confirms coach Claudio Ranieri’s departure

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NANTES, France (AP) Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri is leaving the French club at the end of the season.

Ranieri confirmed his departure on Thursday, a day after club president Waldemar Kita said the Italian manager would be in charge of his final game this Saturday against Strasbourg.

[MORE: U.S. Open Cup wrap]

In a statement released by Nantes, Kita thanked Ranieri and his staff for “all the work done this season. We wish them a lot of success in their future projects.”

The 66-year-old Ranieri was appointed last June on a two-year deal following the surprise departure of fans’ favorite, Sergio Conceicao.

After challenging for European qualification this season, Nantes has been in poor form in recent weeks, winning just one of its past eight league matches. The club is in 10th place.

“I want to thank the president because he offered me the chance to come to Nantes and to return to the French league,” Rannieri said.

He coached in the league from 2012-14, when he won the League 2 title with Monaco then led the Principality side to a runner-up finish in the topflight.

Ranieri, who guided Leicester to a stunning English Premier League title triumph in 2016, has also coached Juventus, Roma and Inter Milan in his much-traveled career. Ha has been in charge of other Italian sides as well as Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

“I want to thank my players because the first half of the championship was wonderful, although the second part was more difficult,” Ranieri said. “They gave everything, it really matters to me.”

Pep named Premier League Manager of the Year

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Surprise!

Pep Guardiola has been named the League Managers Association Premier League Manager of the Year.

[ MORE: Villa one win from PL return ]

The Manchester City boss led the team to the Premier League title, setting single season records in wins, goals, and goal differential.

It’s the third-straight season the manager of the league champion has claimed the award, with Antonio Conte (Chelsea) and Claudio Ranieri (Leicester City) winning in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Guardiola is also the third-straight manager from outside of the United Kingdom to merit the honor, and the first from Spain.

Sean Dyche of Burnley, Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace, and Rafa Benitez of Newcastle were among the names tipped to compete with Guardiola for the honor.

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