Patrick Vieira has become manager Roberto Mancini’s first signing for Manchester City.
The 33-year-old midfielder has agreed to a six-month deal, with an option of a further 12 months to follow.
Vieira’s signing from Inter Milan was completed on Friday morning. He will take the squad number 24.
Vieira signed off from Inter with a typically forceful performance in yesterday’s 1-0 Serie A away win over Chievo.
The former Arsenal captain’s deal at the San Siro was due to expire in the summer, and Vieira has decided to return to England to play under his former Inter boss Mancini.
Mancini is confident that the man who helped steer Inter to successive Italian titles, will be an important addition to the Blues squad.
“Patrick is a world class midfielder with a winner’s mentality and will fit into this group very well,” declared the City chief, who has begun his reign with three consecutive wins.
He knows me and my staff well, and importantly he also knows what the Premier League is all about. He will not need much time to settle in
...Roberto Mancini on Patrick Vieira
“Patrick is one of the great players of his era with every almost every honour in the game against his name. I am sure City fans will welcome him warmly and appreciate the contribution he will make.”
Vieira is determined to play as much as possible as he stakes his claim to be part of the France World Cup squad for this summer’s tournament in South Africa.
He remains one of the Premier League’s most iconic figures having been at the heart of the Gunners’ successes in the previous decade.
Having begun his career with Cannes and then played briefly at AC Milan, the 6’3” Senegal-born midfielder made 279 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side. During his time at Highbury he won three Premier League titles and lifted the FA Cup four times. He was also an integral part of the Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ side that went unbeaten throughout the entire 2003-4 Premier League season.
In Italy with Juventus and Inter he won four league titles (one of which was taken away from Juve), and two Italian Super Cups. Vieira has 107 France caps to his name, having won both the World Cup in 1998 and European Championships in 2000.
Mancini believes he is the man to get the best out of Vieira and is in need of a ball winning midfielder after a season-ending injury to Michael Johnson and the need to use Vincent Kompany as an emergency central defender.
Watch Vieira's first interview as a City player this afternoon, exclusively on mcfc.co.uk.