Nigel de Jong reveals ‘number one challenger’ to replace Pep Guardiola as Man City boss

Manchester City vs. Everton - Premier League

Guardiola’s current deal expires in 2023 (Image: Getty)

thinks Nigel de Jong Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira is the leading candidate to succeed Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Guardiola has led City to unprecedented success since his arrival at the Etihad in 2016, leading the club to three Premier League titles and five domestic cups at the time.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has a contract with City until 2023, but has suggested he could leave the club when the deal expires.

Former City midfielder de Jong is hoping to see the Catalan stay in Manchester and copy the kind of dynasty that Sir Alex Ferguson created across the city at Old Trafford.

But when Guardiola finally leaves, the Dutchman believes former Arsenal captain Vieira, who ended his playing days and began his coaching career at City, will be the club’s primary target.

Crystal Palace vs. Southampton - Premier League

Vieira took the reins in the Palace in the summer (Photo: Getty)

“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 in charge for another 5-10 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 one thing that is always safe in football, though, as a manager, is 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 flying around, and they are based on the fact that he is a leading figure; he led by a good example as a player and it seems he is doing the same as a coach.

‘The transition from player to coach is so different, but Patrick has so far had great success with Crystal Palace. He is clearly the number one candidate for the Manchester City job. ‘

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