Nice manager Patrick Vieira has distanced himself from reports suggesting he could take over at Newcastle by claiming he wants to stay with the Ligue 1 club “long term”.
Newcastle chief Lee Charnley has spent the past few days compiling a shortlist of potential candidates to replace Rafael Benitez. The Spaniard officially left his post with the Magpies at the end of June and the search for a new boss can now begin.
Vieira is understood to be one of the candidates being seriously considered after leading Nice to seventh place in Ligue 1 last term. But the former New York City boss has quashed talk of moving to St James’ Park by reiterating his commitment to the French outfit.
Vieira said: “I am at OGC Nice long term. I have no intention of going elsewhere. I’ve always felt good here and, with the people around me, I can’t see myself anywhere other than OGC Nice.”
The Frenchman was approached by Newcastle, who are priced at 3.60 to be relegated in 2019-20, back in 2015, but the two parties failed to agree a deal due to a “difference in policies”.
Mike Ashley was in charge at that point and Benitez’s comments upon parting company with the club suggest a lack of vision from the Sports Direct tycoon is still an issue.
Benitez said: “I wanted to stay, but I didn’t just want to sign an extended contract, I wanted to be part of a project. “Unfortunately, it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the club did not share the same vision.”