Patrick Vieira, NYCFC head coach, says ‘no contract signed’ with OGC Nice

ORANGEBURG — Despite numerous reports out of France that New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira will leave to takeover OGC Nice of France’s Ligue 1, he shot down that any talks regarding him leaving for Europe are taking place.

“It makes me smile because, of course, there’s no contract signed or anything like that,” Vieira told reporters after Tuesday’s training session.

Late last week, website Get French Football reported Vieira was in advanced talks to take over the open managerial position at Nice. On Tuesday, newspaper L’Equipe confirmed those reports, saying that the details of the contract are being worked out between the two sides.

Vieira denied the developing stories coming out of France.

“This is wrong information,” he said. “There is no representing, anybody going to talk to anybody there.”

Vieira’s success with NYCFC — finishing in fourth place in the overall league standings in 2016 and second place in 2017 — throughout his two-plus years at the helm has made him a prime candidate for one of the big European jobs. NYCFC is currently in third in the overall MLS standings and remained undefeated at home after their 4-0 win Saturday against the Colorado Rapids.

Along with the current rumors at Nice, he was also linked with Nantes and Arsenal in the recent past. However, Vieira continues to state his commitment and happiness in New York.

“I really enjoy being part of this football club,” he said. “My head, my focus and my energy are here. I have a fantastic relationship with the people in this football club. We’ve always been clear to each other, and, for me, this is the most important.”

Vieira, born in Senegal but raised in France, is the highest-paid coach in MLS and his contract with NYCFC ends after this season.

Nice, who finished in eighth place in the Ligue 1 table this season, is looking for a new manager after Lucien Favre left the club to takeover at Borussia Dortmund of Germany’s Bundesliga.