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Mourinho expects Vieira to make Man City switch

MANCHESTER City are poised to land veteran France midfielder Patrick Vieira on loan after Inter Milan admitted he was likely to leave.

The former Arsenal captain is set to return to England where he would join up with his former coach at Inter, Roberto Mancini, who was installed at Eastlands last month. It is thought Vieira, 33, would move on an initial six-month deal with the option to make the move permanent.

Inter boss Jose Mourinho said yesterday there was “very little” chance that the combative ex-Gunner would remain at the club, where first-team opportunities are proving elusive.

Lyon have also been linked with a swoop to take the former Cannes youngster back to his homeland, but the French club have played down their interest, while fellow suitors Barcelona would be unlikely to offer Vieira the regular action he needs to win a place in the national team for this summer’s World Cup.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was “surprised” at the prospect of his former protege joining City but backed him to succeed at Eastlands. He said: “I believe he will still be very effective in the Premier League because he has been injury free for three or four months.”