Patrick Vieira is a leading contender to become Nottingham Forest’s next manager if the Premier League strugglers sack Steve Cooper.

Should Cooper be shown the exit door, Sportsmail can exclusively reveal Vieira would be in the running to replace him less than three weeks after being sacked by Crystal Palace.

Vieira was relieved of his duties after a run of nine league games without a win that left the Eagles just above the bottom three.

He was subsequently replaced by Roy Hodgson – who he initially succeeded at Selhurst Park back in 2021 – and Palace returned to winning ways on Saturday by beating Leicester 2-1.

Yet Vieira received widespread praise for his first season at Palace after guiding his team to a 12th-placed finish, and has admirers at the City Ground.

He could be set for a swift return to Premier League management as Forest consider whether to stick with Cooper or not.

Forest are one of only two clubs in the bottom half – along with West Ham – to stand by their manager this term, but the pressure is building on Cooper to start getting some positive results.

Cooper also appeared to be on the brink of the sack earlier this season after Forest were hammered 4-0 by Leicester in October, but Forest backed him and opted to hand him a new contract instead.

Their approach looked likely to pay off when they went on a five-match unbeaten run at the start of 2023, but they have since suffered a downturn in results that has left Cooper clinging onto his job.

Source: Dailymail

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