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Vieira appointed Nice manager after leaving NY City role

NICE, France (AP) Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira was hired as manager of French club Nice on Monday after leaving his role as head coach of New York City FC.

Both clubs announced the move on their websites on, with Vieira replacing Lucien Favre at Nice.

Vieira had been linked with the Arsenal job after Arsene Wenger stepped down last month but will now return to his native France for his first coaching job in Europe.

"After two and a half years as head coach of NYCFC, today will be my last day," Vieira wrote on Twitter. "I can honestly say that my time with the club has been absolutely perfect - both on the professional and personal level."

Vieira led New York City to two consecutive play-off appearances and he leaves with the team in second place in the Eastern Conference.

Nice President Jean-Pierre Rivere said the team was looking for "a coach with the ability to continue to produce attractive football, to bring through youngsters by taking risks to help them grow, and someone who lives and breathes to win."

As a player, Vieira also had stints at Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City, but is best known for spending nearly a decade at Arsenal and being a key part of Wenger's title-winning sides. He was captain of the "Invincibles" team that went undefeated in winning the 2003-04 Premier League title.

But as a coach he has only been part of the City Football Group - which owns both the Manchester and New York clubs. He started out as a coach of Manchester City's development squad before getting his first head coaching position in New York.

New York City FC said in a statement that assistant coach Christian Lattanzio, performance coach Kristian Wilson and physical performance coach Matt Cook were also leaving to join part of Vieira's backroom staff at Nice.

"Patrick has been a fantastic role model at NYCFC and a true leader on and off the field. We know that leaving the Club has been a difficult decision for him but we understand his choice to return to Europe where he spent his whole playing career," the MLS team's vice chairman Marty Edelman said. "Patrick leaves us in great shape to continue our encouraging campaign and our goals for the season remain the same. We have the most talented and balanced roster of players since the club was formed. There has been a strategic and long-term approach to building a squad which Patrick has supported."

Updated June 11, 2018

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