Patrick Vieira changes role at Manchester City amid shake-up

The former Arsenal player becomes the elite development squad coach

Manchester City's blueprint for the future has become a little clearer following the appointment of Patrick Vieira as their new elite development squad coach.

Vieira moves from an administrative position to take over what is effectively the reserve team from Attilio Lombardo, who has left the club in a backroom clearout following Roberto Mancini's sacking as manager.

The 36-year-old former City, Arsenal and France midfielder has spent the past two years since retiring as a player working as the club's football development executive.

He is therefore likely to be well attuned to the "holistic approach" at all levels City said they intended to develop in the statement that confirmed Mancini's dismissal on Monday.

In making the appointment, chief executive Ferran Soriano also added substance to rumours that he and director of football Txiki Begiristain intend to implement the same system through all the club's sides, from junior to first team.

Soriano and Begiristain, who arrived at City earlier this season, have previously enjoyed conspicuous success at Barcelona.

Soriano said: "Patrick is a world champion and it is a great honour that he has chosen Manchester City to begin his football management career.

"I have seen him carefully considering options and choosing to coach for the best reasons; he has a love of the game and a willingness to continue to learn and transmit his knowledge and experience to young footballers.

"Patrick's role is of the highest long-term importance for the club.

"The ability of the Academy, the elite development squad and the first team to work together using the same football concepts is key to our success and sustainability."

The next major piece of the club's restructure is to bring in a new first-team manager to replace Mancini.

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini remains the clear favourite but there may be no developments until after the Spanish season ends on June 1.

Assistant manager Brian Kidd remains in interim charge for Sunday's final Barclays Premier League game against Norwich at the Etihad Stadium and next week's United States tour.

While Mancini, first-team coach David Platt, Lombardo and four other coaches have left since Monday, there have been unconfirmed reports Kidd is likely to be retained in some role.

With Vieira's appointment, however, it is clear Mancini's replacement will not have the same influence on other aspects of the club as the Italian.

Vieira may have spent the last two years in administration but has attained the UEFA B licence in preparation for a future in coaching. He now intends to complete the A licence.

He has vast playing pedigree after winning the 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000 and three Premier League titles and four FA Cups with Arsenal.

He won a further six domestic titles in Italy and a fifth FA Cup at the end of his career with City in 2011.

Vieira, who will officially take up the role on June 1, said: "This marks a new chapter both in my career and in my life and I am looking forward to it immensely."

PA

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