St Etienne make New York City FC's Patrick Vieira their top target - report
The vacant coaching position at St Etienne is Patrick Vieira's to turn down, according to L'Equipe, as the New York City FC boss' future remains unclear.
Vieira appeared to dismiss speculation earlier this week that he could take a first coaching role in his native France when he stated he had "set out on a long-term project with New York City."
According to L'Equipe, however, Vieira has not ruled out succeeding Christophe Galtier at the head of 10-time French champions St Etienne. The Ligue 1 club announced last month that Galtier would be ending his near eight-year tenure in charge this summer.
Vieira is reportedly considering a switch to St Etienne following the decision of Manchester City -- NYCFC's parent club -- to retain Pep Guardiola's services as well as Arsene Wenger having signed a new contract at his former club Arsenal.
St Etienne have reportedly made the ex-Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and City midfielder their priority, but have been working on other options.
Red Bull Salzburg coach Oscar Garcia, who has led the Austrian club to successive Doubles in the last two seasons, is primed to take over at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard should Vieira opt to remain in New York.
Former Barcelona midfielder Garcia has a French wife and speaks the language fluently.
L'Equipe cites a source close to Garcia stating an agreement is "within touching distance, the deal is 80 percent done," with the two clubs reportedly having already decided on the compensation package to release the former Brighton and Watford manager from the last year of his contract in Austria.
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman