Patrick Vieira has been out of work since leaving Nice in December

Credit: REUTERS

Patrick Vieira has agreed in principle a three-year deal to become Crystal Palace’s new manager.

The Premier League club have begun the process of applying for a work permit for the 45-year-old with players due back in pre-season training on Monday.

Although an agreement has been reached, after productive talks, the contract is yet to be signed by the former Arsenal midfielder who has been out of work since leaving Nice in December.

Palace hope to make an announcement soon to conclude what has been a prolonged and frustrating search to replace Roy Hodgson who stepped down at the end of the season after his contract expired.

The club broke off talks with Nuno Espirito Santo because of the demands being made by the former Wolverhampton Wanderers manager while another candidate, former Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, then changed his mind on the day he was due to sign his contract last week.

Vieira, who has been linked with the vacant post at French champions Lille, after Christophe Galtier took over at Nice, is keen to coach in the Premier League and was on Palace’s initial list of candidates. There has been interest in Frank Lampard and Steve Cooper, the Swansea City manager, but that has cooled.

Prior to coaching Nice, Vieira – who won 107 caps for France – managed the MLS side New York City until 2018 after ending his career as a player at Manchester City and working for the club.

It is expected to be a busy summer at Palace, which made it all the more important to get a manager in place as quickly as possible, with a large number of players out-of-contract and funds to invest to re-shape the squad.

There has been no announcement yet over the likes of Gary Cahill, Andros Townsend and Joel Ward whose contracts end on Wednesday. Palace are looking to bring in at least six players to bolster their squad.

Vieira is set to become only the third non-British or Irish manager in Palace’s history. Hiring Vieira, who has been working as a pundit for ITV during the European Championships, does represent something of a risk for Palace given his unconvincing coaching career so far.