Former Arsenal player and Manchester City employee Brian Marwood has confirmed that Patrick Vieira’s role as manager in New York is a stepping stone as he is earmarked for a role at the Etihad Stadium.

Last month, it was confirmed that Vieira would become the first team manager at New York City FC for their next MLS season, and you can only wonder what Arsenal have missed out on.

Marwood, whose official role at Manchester City is as the Football Administration Officer, has confirmed that the Frenchman’s new position is one that keeps him close to City, with the view to becoming the first team manager in Manchester one day.

“It was important that we could find the next development stage for Patrick and it was still part of the group,” Marwood said. “That opportunity came about in New York. We are really excited, he is really excited by it and I think it is exactly the next step he needs.

“Hopefully, at some point, he’ll come back and manage Manchester City, That’s the ambition for him and that’s the ambition for us. But he has to go through this learning curve.”

Back in November, we suggested this was the most likely reason for Vieira’s new job, which makes it incredibly difficult to see him ever returning to Arsenal. The Gunners were reportedly interested in nabbing him from Manchester City just a couple of months ago, but that is beyond off the cards now.

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The French midfielder played for the Gunners for nine seasons, captaining the side through the unbeaten season in 2003/04 as well as winning two doubles and a further two FA Cups. Should he end up becoming a top level manager, someone in north London will have a lot to answer for.

So, brace yourselves. One day – maybe in the not-too distant future – Patrick Vieira will probably be in the opposition dugout at the Emirates Stadium.