Most major news sources in England (such as the BBC and the Guardian) are suggesting that Patrick Vieira is to join City on a short-term deal — most likely six months, possibly as long as eighteen months.
Vieira has spoken of his desire to join the club, and for one last shot at making the French squad for South Africa:
"It's over, after a year in Turin and three-and-a-half years in Milan... I wanted to go to the World Cup and I need playing time."
"I have objectives and I can't achieve them by staying at Inter where I am not part of the coach's choice.
"What's important for me is to go to Manchester City, to show the coach that I am the same as I was during the period when he was at Inter. All this will help me get into the France team."
And Inter manager Jose Mourinho has all but confirmed the move:
"I should give a special mention to Vieira, who certainly played his last game with us... I don't know where he will go, maybe England which he likes a lot, but we should thank him for what he has done."
"The club decided not to renew his contract, which is coming to an end, and to accept the offer of another club."
"I will miss him but I don't have the right to demand anything from a club who has done so much for me. He had an impeccable game [against Chievo]. It was the perfect farewell to us, and I want to wish him all the best for his new career."
It's interesting to note the similarities in the way that Roberto Mancini and Mark Hughes go about their transfer business.
Patrick Vieira played under Mancini at his previous club. He also has an enormous amount of Premier League experience. He is a winner — FA Cup, European Championships, World Cup, and the Premier League. These are the same qualities that Hughes looked for when signing such players as Sylvinho, Wayne Bridge, Carlos Tevez, and Kolo Toure. Proven winners.
So Vieira may be on the wrong side of thirty (33 actually) and may be using us solely as a vehicle to qualify for the World Cup. But he still obviously shows that hunger and desire to perform at the highest level, even if it means moving to a different league to get that opportunity.
Motivation won't be an issue for Patrick — but fitness may be. And if it doesn't work out, no harm done really.
UPDATE 09/10: Vieira unveiled on the Official Site. Good signing.