Patrick Vieira is being lined up as potential successor to current Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, according to the club’s Football Administration Officer Brian Marwood.
The former City and Arsenal midfielder took his first step into first-team management in November, signing a three-year deal with City's sister club New York City in Major League Soccer.
Vieira had been in charge of City's elite development squad since 2013 after ending his career at the Etihad Stadium two years previously and Marwood has revealed the Frenchman could return to the club in a managerial capacity in the future.
"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," Marwood told Good Morning Sports Fans on Sky Sports News HQ.
"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."
Vieira joined City from Inter Milan in January 2010 and helped the club win their first major honour for 35 years, a 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Stoke in 2011.
He ended his playing career following that victory, taking up a training and youth development role at City before working for the club in a business capacity.
"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."