Persistent reports out of France have led to a sense of inevitability for New York City FC, and head coach Patrick Vieira did not deny the most recent news that he’s accepted a position with OGC Nice.
After dropping a 4-0 decision to the rival New York Red Bulls in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, Vieira ran a light training session at the team’s training facility in Orangeburg, N.Y., on Thursday.
When asked about his career plans after Saturday, Vieira said, “We will see.”
It was a much different response than he offered in previous weeks, when the rumors of his departure first surfaced. Vieira has dismissed the frequent accounts of his exodus multiple times, but on Thursday he had a more reserved tone when responding to queries.
“I have so many things on my plate,” Vieira said. “We lost a big game. I really wanted to go far and pass this first [U.S. Open Cup] round, that we didn’t do. Now we have a massive game, maybe one of the most important games so far in the season against Atlanta. My priority and what I really want is to put my head into that game because it’s a big game for us.”
Even if Vieira is set to undertake a Ligue 1 journey, he remains focused on his current squad and lamented the loss of midfielder Yangel Herrera, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
“We lost an important player and we will have to replace him,” Vieira said in reference to the upcoming summer transfer window. “There is no doubt about it, because we don’t have players on our roster at the moment that have the same characteristics as Yangel. We have to find somebody who can replace him.”
The chance of that surrogate having the opportunity to play under Vieira, however, is yet to be seen.