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PSG 'appoint' Laurent Blanc as new coach

Published: 21 Jun 2013 16:05 GMT+02:00

French football club Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly reached an agreement with Laurent Blanc to become the new manager of the Ligue 1 champions, according to a post on the BeInSport Twitter account, a TV channel belonging to the club's Qatari owners.

"Exclusive information: agreement reached today (Friday) with Laurent Blanc who will become coach of Paris SG," indicated BeInSport, adding that a two-year deal was expected to be finalized at the start of next week.

Paris daily Le Parisien also posted a story on their website confirming that Blanc was indeed the new coach of the Ligue 1 champions.

The appointment is yet to be confirmed by the club.

PSG have had a difficult time since they picked up their first league title in 19 years, in May.

First, their Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti announced his intention to walk away from the club, after Real Madrid made it clear they wanted him.

Then, in their attempts to line up a replacement, the billionaire club whose Qatari owners want to see PSG rival the likes of Real and Barca in the years to come, were spurned by those lined up to replace the Italian.

First it was the Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas who is believed to have turned down their advances, preferring to remain at Premier League club Spurs.

Then former England coach Fabio Capello refused to be moved by PSG’s flirting, opting to stay on as coach of the Russian national team.

Former Chelsea and Dutch coach Guus Hiddink is also believed to have turned down PSG’s overtures in recent weeks.

Earlier on Friday, French daily Le Parisien reported that PSG had turned their attention towards Laurent Blanc, former coach of the French national team.

Le Parisien claimed that in recent days PSG had resolved to make Blanc their number one target.

“Even if nothing is official, the former world champion has a great chance of becoming the new coach of PSG,” Le Parisien wrote.

Having a Frenchman confirmed at the helm might improve the club's image at home, especially in the capital city where the owners are trying to increase the club's following.

Blanc had been a free agent since stepping down from the national job after France’s disappointing performance in last summer’s European championships.

Despite this failure, the former Manchester United centre-back is highly regarded in France. He is seen as having stabilized the national team after their catastrophic and rancorous exit from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, under the stewardship of Raymond Domenech.

The 47-year-old, nicknamed ‘Le President’, began his coaching career with Bordeaux in 2007 and led them to the Ligue 1 title in just his second season at the helm.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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