Patrick Vieira - New York City FC - claps on the sideline - close-up
USA Today Sports

As Nice rumors swirl, Patrick Vieira insists he's focused on task at hand

ORANGEBURG, N.Y. – Chased by rampant rumors of an impending move to OGC Nice, New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira hasn’t wavered in his response the past few weeks. 

It’s been some variation of “I haven’t spoken to anyone” and “there’s no contract that’s been signed.”

When asked by MLSsoccer.com about the current report out of France that a deal was done and that Saturday’s showdown against Atlanta United (12:30 pm ET | Full TV & Streaming info) would be his last as coach of NYCFC, Vieira didn’t steadfastly deny. 

“I will be honest with you. I have so many things on my plate,” Vieira said after training Thursday. “We lost a big game [against the Red Bulls] because I really wanted to go as far and at least pass this first round that we didn’t do. We have a massive game, I would say, maybe one of the most important games so far in the season against Atlanta. My priority and what I really want is to put my head into that game because it is a big game for us.”

The latest report is from RMC Sport, which claims Vieira has agreed in principle to a three-year deal with Nice with the last remaining details concerning who would make up his staff. 

Is it telling Vieira offered a first non-denial of the same question he’s been asked the last few weeks? What are his plans past Saturday? 

“We will see. My head is really into that game on Saturday. It is a massive one,” Vieira said. “We’re going to play, I believe, against, I have to say one of the best, if not the best team in this league. We want to win that game and I want players, myself, the football club to focus on that game. We’re going to have a break after that and it will be important for us to win that game because we will be in front of them and that will be really important for us.”