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PSG line up Laurent Blanc to replace Ancelotti

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PSG line up Laurent Blanc to replace Ancelotti
Fromer French football manager Laurent Blanc speaks during the European Championships, June 2012. A report on May 10th links him to the PSG manager's job. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP
11:20 CEST+02:00
Leaders of France's Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain have approached former French manager Laurent Blanc about the possibility of replacing current coach Carlo Ancelotti before next season, it was reported on Friday.

With current PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti looking as though he is on his way to Real Madrid at the end of the season, PSG are eager to line up a top class replacement. The latest name to enter the ring is that of Laurent Blanc.

Blanc, who won the 1998 World Cup as a player with France and coached the national team between 2010 and 2012, has already been contacted by the club "informally", according to sources of the French daily Le Parisien.

The newspaper reports that senior backroom staff at the Paris club are continuing their attempts to persuade Ancelotti to stay on as manager next season, but are courting possible successors in the case that the Italian moves on.

Ancelotti, 53, has been linked to the hot seat at Spanish giants Real Madrid, since their current manager Jose Mourinho seems destined to leave, with a return to Chelsea the likely option.

In recent weeks Ancelotti has refused to commit himself to PSG, which has only increased the speculation he is heading for the exit.

The Italian has previously said that there would be a meeting involving players and club management at the end of the season, which could decide whether or not he remains at the club.

PSG are currently seven points clear of second-place Marseille in Ligue 1, and look set to clinch the French title, barring a disastrous end to the season.

In the event that Ancelotti leaves PSG, senior officials including club president Nasser al-Khelaifi, are particularly attracted to the prospect of a homegrown manager such as Blanc, according to Le Parisien.

The club is owned by majority shareholders Qatar Investment Authority, has a Brazilian director of football in Leonardo, an Italian coach in Ancelotti, a Brazilian captain in Thiago Silva and its two marquee players are Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former England captain David Beckham.

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

On the other hand, appointing a French coach, might not fit in with the owners desire to increase their image on the global scale.

Blanc however is a free agent after 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.

Le Parisien also reported on Friday that Blanc had been approached by Ligue 1 side Monaco, whose owners are allegedly unhappy with the performance of their Italian coach Claudio Ranieri.

French sports daily L’Equipe claimed on Friday, however, that PSG had also contacted three other Italian coaches as possible successors to Ancelotti.

Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini, Russian national selector and former England coach Fabio Capello, as well as Zenith St. Petersburg manager Luciano Spalletti have all been approached by the Paris club, L'Equipe reported.

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