Nigel De Jong names Patrick Vieira ‘number one’ to succeed Pep Guardiola in Man City

Patrick Vieira is a “number one candidate” to succeed Pep Guardiola as manager of Manchester City, according to Nigel de Jong.

Guardiola took charge of City in 2016 and has had a remarkable period of success at the Etihad, where he has won three Premier League titles – with his team well on their way to winning a fourth this season.

Vieira, meanwhile, has had a promising start to his first season in charge of Crystal Palace after guiding the club to 11.th space midway through the campaign.

De Jong has tipped Patrick Vieira (pictured) to succeed Guardiola in City (Photo: Alamy)
De Jong has tipped Patrick Vieira (pictured) to succeed Guardiola in City (Photo: Alamy)

De Jong has been impressed with Vieira’s start at Selhurst Park and insists his former City team-mate would be an appropriate replacement for Guardiola when the Spaniard eventually leaves the Etihad.

“I do not really like to talk about coaches being linked with other jobs when they are already in clubs or the current coach is still there. Especially in the case of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City,” De Jong told Ladbrokes.

“If I’m really honest and look at things like a fan who loves City highly. I would love to see Guardiola be in charge for another five to 10 years.

“I want him to have a magic similar to the one Sir Alex Ferguson had at Manchester United, to really amplify his DNA into the club.

The couple played together during their time at Etihad (Photo: Alamy)
The couple played together during their time at Etihad (Photo: Alamy)

“The one thing that is always safe in football, though, is as a manager that you move on; be it by being fired or by walking.

“Patrick Vieira will always be a name associated with the City job because of the relationship he has with the club; it’s the same with Arsenal when Mikel Arteta moves on.

“There will always be rumors and they are based on him being a leading figure; he led by a good example as a player and it seems he is doing the same as a coach.

City are now eight points ahead of the top of the Premier League after beating Brentford (Photo: Alamy)
City are now eight points ahead of the top of the Premier League after beating Brentford (Photo: Alamy)

“The transition from player to coach is so different, but Patrick has so far had great success with Crystal Palace.

“He’s definitely the best candidate for the Manchester City job.”

City moved eight points ahead at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday after beating Brentford 1-0, with Chelsea holding a 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Guardiola’s side have the opportunity to advance further on New Year’s Day when they face Arsenal at the Emirates, with nearest rivals Chelsea hosting third-placed Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

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