Patrick Vieira looks set to take over as crystal Palace manager after agreeing a deal to succeed Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park.
The former France international – who has been out of work since being sacked by the Ligue 1 side Nice in December – has held productive talks with the Palace co-chairman Steve Parish this week and is expected to be confirmed as the manager within the next 24 hours.
It would bring to an end a difficult recruitment process for Parish, who broke off talks with Nuno Espírito Santo before the former Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre tuned down the post last week on the day he was due to sign a three-year contract.
Despite attempts to make the 63-year-old change his mind, it is understood Palace have settled on Vieira and hope he can be appointed in time to be granted a work permit to begin pre-season training next week.
Vieira, who won 107 caps for France and captained Arsenal’s Invincibles in 2004, appeared on Palace’s initial list of candidates along with Frank Lampard, Burnley’s Sean.
Dyche and Valérien Ismaël who has left Barnsley to take over at West Brom.
Vieira managed the MLS side New York City before moving to Nice in 2018.
Vieira’s time in New York came after he had spent more than four years in off-field roles at Manchester City, where he finished his playing career in 2011. He first oversaw youth development and then became the reserve team manager.
In his two and a half years at New York, Vieira improved the team’s position each season, finishing second in 2017.
He took charge of Nice in June 2018 and led them to seventh in his first campaign and fifth in his second, qualifying for the Europa League, before being sacked in December 2020. His dismissal came after five straight defeats left the club 11th in the table and out of Europe at the group stage.
Palace are preparing for a ninth consecutive season in the Premier League. They were bottom without a point when Hodgson took charge in September 2017 and finished no lower than 14th under the former England manager.
Hodgson’s predecessor, Frank de Boer, had proved a bad fit and Palace have turned in Vieira to a man with extensive experience of England’s top division. Vieira played for Arsenal from 1996-2005 and went to City after spells at Juventus and Internazionale.