Manchester City Football Administration Officer Brian Marwood hopes Patrick Vieira will learn from his experience in MLS before returning to manage the club in the future.
Vieira is to take up the role of head coach at City’s sister club New York City on January 1 but Marwood is eager for the former France midfielder to return to the Etihad at some stage.
He told Sky Sports News: “It was important that we could find the next development stage for Patrick and it was still part of the group. That opportunity came about in New York.
“We are really excited, he is really excited by it and I think it is exactly the next step he needs.
“Hopefully, at some point, he’ll come back and manage Manchester City, That’s the ambition for him and that’s the ambition for us. But he has to go through this learning curve.”
Marwood credits Vieira with playing an instrumental role in City’s development over the past five years following his move from Inter in 2010.
“We always felt from day one that he could make a major contribution to the club,” Marwood added.
“The club, at that time, still had a lot of developing to do, a lot of growing up to do and the culture, which is very important to what we are about, needed to be driven by people that had been around winning mentalities, winning culture, humility and trying to have the right values and behaviours.
“We felt Patrick epitomised all of those things, so he was very crucial to where we were in that stage in our development.
“Since he came, he showed that within the dressing room, but we also felt there was a big long-term potential with him. We took him on our journey that saw him for one year working within the business.
“He had lived as a footballer for many years, but probably had not quite grasped or understood the importance of communications, marketing, commercial, legal and all those areas.
“To be fair to him, he immersed himself fully in those 12 months and I think he came away with a different perception of what a football club was about.”