Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has admitted he would love to manage the club ‘someday’, but has no intention of replacing under-fire Arsene Wenger at the helm.
Vieira, who played for the Gunners from 1996 to 2005, is the current coach of Major League Soccer outfit New York City and refused to discuss taking over from his compatriot.
Wenger remains under pressure to step down at the end of the season, despite having a year remaining on his contract, though wins over Milan and Watford in recent days have calmed the situation slightly.
“Let’s say that someday it might interest me. But one day,” the Frenchman said. “I cannot say anything more because there is nothing to say about it and I do not want to offend Arsene, whom I adore and for whom I have a lot of respect.
“Because I know that he suffers a lot from the current results, even more than hearing what his former players say.”
Wenger’s side are in danger of losing out on Champions League football for the second successive season and the 68-year-old has been feeling the heat following a 3-0 loss to Manchester City last month in the EFL Cup final – underlining how far the north Londoners have declined in recent years.
Vieira said Wenger will be the one to pull the plug when he feels his time at the Emirates Stadium has come to an end.
“I think if it’s the end of the story, he will be the first to recognise it,” the former Gunners captain added.
“And I would like to add that in relation to everything he has done for the club, in relation to what he has built and what he has won, he is legitimate enough to decide for himself when he will retire.
“He has the right to make this decision himself. If there really is someone who loves this club and wants this club to succeed, it’s Arsene.”