Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has been installed as one of the favourites to replace Maurizio Sarri as the Chelsea manager for next season.
According to a report from The Sun, Arsenal legend and current OGC Nice manager Patrick Vieira has been tipped as one of the favourites to become the next Chelsea boss by betting website Betway, amid doubts surrounding the future of Maurizio Sarri.
Sarri’s first season with Chelsea was an eventful one, as he led the Blues to a third-place finish in the Premier League and the UEFA League triumph. Despite having ended the campaign with silverware, Sarri has had his fair share of problems at Stamford Bridge, with owner Roman Abramovich believed to be considering sacking the Italian tactician earlier this year.
The speculations have only intensified since Massimiliano Allegri stepped down as the Juventus manager, with Sarri emerging as a potential candidate to replace his compatriot. Recent reports even claimed that the Chelsea boss had already agreed terms with the Serie A champions and was set for a return to Italy.
Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has emerged as the overwhelming favourite to replace Sarri should he leave for Juventus. The former English international has done a sterling job in his first managerial appointment at Derby County and is being tipped as the favourite to take over the reins at Stamford Bridge next season.
Surprisingly enough, former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has emerged as the second favourite behind Lampard ahead of the likes of Allegri, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, with betting experts Betway slashing the odds for him to become the next Chelsea boss from 7/1 to 4/1.
The 42-year-old Vieira, who spent nine years at Arsenal between 1996 and 2005, began his coaching career with Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad, before moving on to MLS side New York City FC in January 2016. In his first season with the MLS outfit, Vieira led them to the playoffs, by virtue of a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Vieira backed it up with another strong campaign in 2017, as NYC FC finished second again, but once again faltered in the playoff semi-final. The Frenchman left the MLS club to join OGC Nice in June 2018 and led them to a seventh-place finish in his first season in the Ligue 1, with Les Aiglons enjoying the joint second-best defensive record in the division.
Vieira has done a fairly solid job so far in his fledgling managerial career, but it is unlikely that he would be entrusted with the Chelsea job. The Frenchman could prove to be an unpopular appointment at Stamford Bridge, given his rich history with local rivals Arsenal. The former Gunners’ captain was sent off on two occasions against the Blues in 18 matches.
Sarri’s future at Chelsea remains up in the air, but should the Italian be relieved of his duties, it is nigh on impossible that Vieira would be his successor at the Bridge. Lampard remains the favourite choice, but Wolves’ Nuno could also be a viable candidate.