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Patrick Vieira speaks out on Arsenal links as north London club consider their next move

Patrick Vieira

Nice boss Patrick Vieira has played down suggestions that he could be set to return to Arsenal as manager.

The Gunners are on the lookout for a new permanent head coach after sacking Unai Emery on Friday.

Freddie Ljungberg, a former team-mate of Vieira's, has been handed the reins on a caretaker basis, with Emery dismissed following a run of seven games without a win in all competitions.

Vieira is among the names in the frame to succeed the Spaniard, along with Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta, former Juventus chief Max Allegri, ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti and Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo.

But the Frenchman, who won three Premier League titles during his nine years with the north London outfit, admits he is unlikely to return to Arsenal this season.

"There are things I don't control, people who say a lot of stuff, which is true or not true," he told reporters after Nice's 3-1 victory over Angers in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

"I didn't say anything, I didn't say anything about that. I'm like you, I read, I look, I hear things, and that's it."

Vieira also added that he believes it will be difficult for any manger to restore Arsenal to their former glories.

"It's a very complicated job, I realise that," he said. "I support Emery, it's always sad to see a coach losing his job.

"Today it's him, tomorrow it might be me, but as soon as you decide to start in this job, you have to expect to be fired at some point."

Ljungberg will take charge of his first Arsenal game on Sunday, when the Gunners travel to Carrow Road to face Norwich.

They will then lock horns with Brighton and West Ham in the next seven days, before they conclude the Europa League group stage against Standard Liege.


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