As the rollercoaster week continues at Newcastle United, it has not become any clearer where the ride will eventually stop.
Controversy never seems to be too far away from St James’ Park, and that theme continued as it was confirmed Rafael Benitez will leave the club once his contract expires at the end of June.
Add that to the ongoing takeover talks, and the future is looking quite bleak in the North East – especially after it was revealed on Friday that the Bin Zayed Group are no closer to completing their takeover of the Magpies.
After the departure of Benitez, the list of potential replacements seems to keep getting longer as each day passes. One of the more feasible rumours was that of Patrick Vieira.
The OGC Nice manager has held talks with Newcastle before, and impressed senior officials in an interview for the job in 2015. Because of that, it came as no surprise to see his name thrown into the pot once more to take the newly available position.
A sticking point in the suggestion of Newcastle’s reignited interest is the position of OGC Nice, who would reportedly not welcome an approach for the former Arsenal man. Mike Ashley will certainly have to look elsewhere now, with Get French Football News reporting that Vieira is happy in France, and would not move to the Premier League this summer.
Patrick Vieira won't be joining Newcastle United – a source close to OGC Nice tells Get French Football News: "It is a testing time (as the sale of the club is drawn out), but Patrick remains focused & excited on the future here."
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) June 27, 2019
So the Magpies should cross him off any potential manager shortlist they have as it sounds like it’d be hard to convince him and his club to come to some arrangement.
After three good years in charge of New York City, the 43-year-old impressed as he guided Nice to seventh during his first stint in Ligue 1. Newcastle surely need to take there hunt elsewhere though, and appoint a manager with Premier League experience who can guide them through a potentially difficult season.
With no signings lined up and no clarity on their ongoing situation, it could be hard to attract the right kind of manager, who will be willing to start a project – similar to what Benitez was doing before his departure.
Vieira is now certainly off the table, and Ashley must be smart with his next move, even if it is the last decision he makes before finally leaving the North East giants.