Nigel de Jong reveals the ‘number one contender’ to replace Pep Guardiola as Man City boss

Guardiola’s current deal expires in 2023 (Picture: Getty)

Nigel de Jong believes Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira is the leading candidate to succeed Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Guardiola has led to City to unprecedented success since his arrival at the Etihad in 2016, guiding the club to three Premier League titles and five domestic cups in that time.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is contracted to City until 2023 but has suggested he could leave the club when that deal expires.

Former City midfielder de Jong hopes to see the Catalan remain in Manchester and replicate the sort of dynasty Sir Alex Ferguson created across town at Old Trafford.

But when Guardiola does eventually leave, the Dutchman believes former Arsenal captain Vieira, who finished his playing days and began his coaching career at City, will be the club’s prime target.

Vieira took the reins at Palace in the summer (Picture: Getty)

‘I don’t really like talking about coaches being linked with other jobs when they’re already at clubs or the current coach is still there – especially in the case of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City,’ de Jong told Ladbrokes.

‘If I’m being really honest and looking at things as a fan who loves City dearly, I’d love to see Guardiola in charge for another 5-10 years. I want him to have a similar spell to what Sir Alex Ferguson had at Manchester United, to really amplify his DNA into the club.

‘The one thing that’s always certain in football, though, as a manager, is that you’re going to move on; be it by getting sacked or by walking.

‘Patrick Vieira is always going to be a name that’s linked with the City job because of the relationship he has with the club; it’s the same with Arsenal whenever Mikel Arteta moves on.

‘There are always going to be rumours flying around, and they’re based on the fact that he’s a leading figure; he led by example as a player and it looks like he does the same as a coach.

‘The transition from player to coach is so different, but Patrick has so far enjoyed great success with Crystal Palace. He’s a number one contender for the Manchester City job for sure.’

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