Patrick Vieira named New York City FC head coach after Jason Kreis exit

Patrick Vieira has been appointed New York City FC's new head coach.

The former Arsenal and France captain will leave his position as Manchester City's Elite Development Squad manager after signing a three-year contract with the new MLS franchise.

Vieira replaces Jason Kreis, who was sacked last week after New York only finished eighth in the Eastern Conference in their debut season in Major League Soccer, and will start his role on Jan 1, 2016 ahead of preseason training.

The 39-year-old told NYCFC's official website: "I am delighted to take up the role. To work with this squad is an exciting prospect for any coach.

"This established football set-up, together with a passionate and loyal fanbase, located in a special city which I know well, makes for an unparalleled opportunity that I am delighted to seize with both hands. I cannot wait to get started."

Since retiring as a player in 2011, Vieira has worked behind the scenes at Manchester City, first as Football Development Executive before being in charge of their reserves for the last two years.

He was linked with the Newcastle job in the summer but this is his first managerial position and New York City believe they have secured a coup by appointing him.

NYCFC president Tom Glick said: "The open position of head coach has prompted significant interest and I have no doubt that in Patrick, we have one of the most impressive young coaches I have encountered.

"Patrick's ability, vision and the respect in which he is held by everyone who works with him, speaks volumes for his character and capacity to succeed. I am excited to work with him and I know the energy he will bring to the role will have a hugely positive impact across the club."

Sporting director Claudio Reyna added: "Patrick was a legendary player and has all the characteristics required to make a fantastic head coach. His exemplary drive, passion and dedication have always marked him out as a rare talent and all of those qualities, alongside his understanding of the game, make him a natural choice.

"Patrick is a natural-born leader. He has played under some of the best managers in the world and experienced different leagues and playing styles, enjoying success everywhere he has been. We believe he can bring that knowledge and experience to take New York City FC forward in MLS."

Vieira won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 during a France career that brought him 107 caps, while in a nine-year stay at Arsenal, he was a Premier League champion three times and an FA Cup winner four times.

He moved on to play for Juventus and Inter Milan, winning Serie A four times, before returning to England with City, helping them win the 2011 FA Cup.

Speaking last week, City manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "I think Patrick is a young manager and he will be a success in football."