Patrick Vieira was last night set to undergo a medical and complete a transfer to Manchester City. The 33-year-old central midfielder, who had reportedly agreed an 18-month contract, previously played under City manager Roberto Mancini at Inter Milan. "It is important for me to go to Manchester City, to show the coach that I am the same as I was during the time when he was at Inter," Vieira told Canal Plus yesterday.
The Frenchman also wanted to move in order to play his way into his country's World Cup squad. "I have goals and I can't achieve them by staying at Inter where I am not part of the coach's choices," Vieira said. "I set myself an objective, I want to go to the World Cup and I need playing time." On his time in Serie A, Vieira said: "It's over, after a year in Turin and three-and-a-half years in Milan."
He has played 107 times for France, with his last appearance for Les Bleus coming in June. Inter coach Jose Mourinho thanked Vieira after Wednesday's 1-0 win over Chievo Verona, a game in which the Frenchman played from start to finish. "It was his last game with us and he played an incredible match. He could have refused to play or held his leg back at times but he gave his all," Mourinho said. "I'm sad that he's leaving but happy that he's going to a place where he'll play more."
Vieira spent nine seasons with Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, before moving to Juventus in 2005. His tenure with the Turin squad lasted only a year, with the Italian match-fixing scandal prompting his move to Inter in 2006. Vieira has played in 12 of 18 Serie A matches this season and appeared for only 23 minutes during Inter's six Champions League group games. He could make his debut against Blackburn Rovers on Monday night, if City register him in time.
Vieira is Mancini's first signing since he became manager of City on December 19. City have won all three games under him and are yet to concede a goal. * With agencies