Argentine veteran opts to stay with Estudiantes as Mancini offers $11.2 million.
|Vieira is rejoining former Inter coach Mancini at Manchester City [GALLO/GETTY]|
Former France captain Patrick Vieira has confirmed reports he is leaving Italy’s Inter Milan to join big-spending Manchester City in the English Premier League.
The move is seen as a bid to secure more first team action and gain a place in France’s World Cup squad.
Vieira is counting on new City manager – and former Inter coach – Roberto Mancini for help.
Vieira won the last of his 107 caps for France in a friendly against Nigeria in August, but his last appearance in an official match was in September 2007 in a European qualifier against Scotland.
“I set myself an objective, I want to go to the World Cup,” the former Arsenal midfielder told television station Eurosport.
“The important thing for me is to go to Manchester City and to show the coach (Roberto Mancini) I’m the same player than when he was in charge of Inter,” he added.
“After a year in Turin and three and a half years in Milan, it’s over. To go to the World Cup I need playing time and I can’t reach my objective with Inter where I’m not a first choice player.”
The 33-year-old 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.
Vieira, who was a member of France’s victorious squads at the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European championship, won three English Premier League titles and three FA cups in nine seasons with Arsenal before moving to Juventus in 2005 then Inter Milan the next year.
“I have goals and I can’t achieve them by staying at Inter where I am not part of the coach’s choices,” Vieira added.
He also won four Serie A titles in Italy with Inter including two in 2007 and 2008 under Roberto Mancini who was appointed manager of Manchester City last month.
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.
“As a man and as a coach, I’m not happy because he is a fantastic man and a great player but I could say I’m happy because he is happy,” Mourinho told Eurosport.
“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.
Vieira spent nine seasons with Arsenal before transferring 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.