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Blanc unfazed at not being PSG's first choice

AFP/The Local · 28 Jun 2013, 08:35

Published: 28 Jun 2013 08:35 GMT+02:00

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New Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc on Thursday said he was unfazed by not being the first choice to replace Carlo Ancelotti at the French league champions, as the club's owners said Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were not for sale.

"Yes, the date (of the appointment) was late for me but it's not a problem not to be the first on the list," Blanc told a news conference at the club's Parc des Princes ground in Paris.

"The most important thing is to be picked at the end of the day and that's the case," he added.

Blanc, 47, has been out of a job since leaving his role as France coach after a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign that saw Les Bleus eliminated at the quarter-final stage.

The former defender, who won the World Cup with France in 1998 and European championships in 2000, previously coached Bordeaux, leading them to the Ligue 1 title in 2009.

PSG had been linked to a number of top European managers, including Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez and Fabio Capello, before Blanc was appointed earlier this week.

"I'm happy to be here, very proud to be the coach of a club like PSG. I know what's awaiting us. It's an exciting but also a difficult challenge," Blanc told reporters.

"With the staff, we're going to try -- I stress 'try' -- to meet our goals and entertain."

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, for his part said he was confident that with Blanc as coach, the club could "continue on the right path towards its aim - another French league title next season".

"(Sporting director) Leonardo has worked well to get the new coach," he added, thanking in turn departing coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Blanc's appointment coincided with an announcement from Real Madrid that Ancelotti  would replace Mourinho after he left the Santiago Bernabeu for English club Chelsea.

"(Ancelotti) did good work here in the last 18 months. I've got good relations with him. I wish him good luck at Real," Al-Khelaifi said.

The Qatari also quashed rumours that PSG stars Ibrahimovic and Silva could be on their way out.

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"Thiago Silva and 'Ibra' are staying," he said, following reports in Spain and Italy that they could head to Barcelona and Juventus respectively.

Juventus effectively closed the door to any Ibrahimovic move by signing Manchester City's Carlos Tevez on Thursday.

PSG have spent 250 million euros on players in the last two seasons but have not yet made any move on the transfer market.

This close season, newly promoted Monaco have dug deep into their pockets, notably signing Colombia forward Radamel Falcao for a reported 60 million

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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