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PSG confirm Laurent Blanc as new coach

Ben McPartland · 25 Jun 2013, 12:29

Published: 25 Jun 2013 12:29 GMT+02:00

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After days of speculation PSG announced on Tuesday that World Cup winner and former French national team manager Laurent Blanc will replace Real Madrid bound Carlo Ancelotti as first team coach.

In a statement released by the club on Tuesday the French champions said they were "delighted" to announce the appointment of Blanc on a  two year contract.

The French Ligue 1 winners' announcement came just moments before Real Madrid said that Carlo Ancelotti would take over from Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu.

The confirmation comes after television channel BeInSport, also owned by the club's Qatari owners, let the cat out of the bag last Friday, announcing an "agreement" between the
Paris side and B

PSG has grand designs on one day rivalling the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid and Blanc has been tasked with leading them into European football's elite.

"The Board of París Saint-Germain has given Laurent Blanc the mission to build on last season and to continue the club's ascendency towards the summit of the European game," read the statement from the club.

Blanc is set to face the media on Tuesday afternoon, when the club hold a press conference.

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 a number of the world's top coaches including Guus Hiddink, Fabio Capello and Andre Villas-Boas were reported to have turned down offers from PSG.

In Laurent Blanc they have finally found a manager, all be it not a stellar name, who chose not to turn down their advances.

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.

Story continues below…

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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