ROME (AFP) - Patrick Vieira's departure from Inter Milan was confirmed on Wednesday after coach Jose Mourinho said the French midfield veteran had played his "last game" for the Italian champions.
Vieira, who is being tipped to join Manchester City, was given a rare start for Inter because of several absences in midfield.
The Serie A champions beat Chievo 1-0 thanks to a Mario Balotelli goal in the 12th minute to stretch their lead over city rivals AC Milan to 11 points.
"Today we had a few problems but I have a team full of professionals who went out and did a remarkable job," Mourinho told Sky Sport.
"I should have good words to say about everybody but the only person I want to talk about is Vieira, who has played his last match for us.
"He had an impeccable game. It was the perfect farewell to us, and I want to wish him all the best for his new career."
Vieira, 33, has had a shaky past three seasons at Inter Milan and, now on the fringes of the France team, he is desperate for first team football to boost his chances of featuring in Raymond Domenech's World Cup squad.
Reports this week suggested City have been in talks with Inter over signing Vieira, who has also had the rule run over him by former French champions Lyon.
Mourinho said he believes Vieira, who at the end of the match hugged several of his team-mates, was definitely returning to the English Premier League.
"He hasn't said a word to anybody but he has mentioned the English Premier League," added the Portuguese.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, who coached Inter when Vieira first arrived following a year with Juventus, said on Monday he was interested in taking the former Arsenal midfielder on loan till the end of the season.