Costa absent from final Atletico training ahead of travel for Arsenal tie

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Arsenal will now hope that the Frenchman signs off in style by lifting the Europa League next month.

Tasked with finding a new manager for the first time in over 20 years, the Arsenal board is looking far and wide for the best possible candidate to take over the reins from Wenger, who surprised the footballing world by announcing that he will leave the Gunners at the end of the season.

When asked whether he'd been contacted about the soon-to-be-vacant role at the Emirates Stadium, Vieira refused to rule out a return to his former club in 2019.

West Ham boss David Moyes isn't contracted beyond the end of the season, and that may mean that the Hammers look to other options even if the Scot does keep the club in the Premier League.

'But I have a contract until the end of the season'.

For the last decade, Arsenal has been crying out for a new pair of centerbacks and a holding midfielder in the mould of Patrick Vieira.

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"If the question is if I'm ready", Vieira said, "yes, I'm ready".

Vieira feels that over time he's improved with how he prepares his team. He helped transform NYCFC into an immediate playoff contender in 2016, and turned the team into one of the league's best in 2017.

"I'd be shocked if they didn't know who their next manager was".

"A big country with a good project could interest him. That just shows that people are following what you're doing and you're doing a good job", Vieira said. "At the moment, my focus is where it's always been - my loyalties to this club until the last day I'm here".

Costa scored three goals and collected four wins in six games against Arsenal while at Chelsea, while also being involved in a number of controversial incidents with Gunners players.

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