PSG’s long search for a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti appears to be over after Laurent Blanc accepted their offer to become their new manager according to Le Parisien.
With Ancelotti set to replace Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, the French Champions had suffered some high-profile rejections in the last week.
First, Andre Villas-Boas chose to remain at Tottenham and then Fabio Capello resisted the Parisian’s advances to stay with the Russian national team.
Well travelled Dutch coach Guus Hiddink is also said to have turned them down in recent weeks. They were also said to be interested in acquiring the services of Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger.
Earlier on Friday, French newspaper Le Parisien reported that Laurent Blanc was now their number one target. Blanc was said to be the preferred choice because the club wish to improve their image at home, and feel that having a Frenchman at the helm would help this.
Blanc had been a free agent since stepping down as France coach after the national team’s disappointing performance at last summer’s European Championships.
Before his two-year stint with the national team, Blanc managed Bordeaux for two years, guiding the club to the Ligue 1 title in 2008/9, his second season in charge.
Despite his failure with the national team, Blanc remains highly regarded in France and is credited with stabilizing the team after their embarrassing exit from the World Cup in 2010, an exit which followed the players’ fallout with much maligned coach Raymond Domenech.
Blanc’s reputation as a player in France is second to none, having been part of the great team that won both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. He won 97 caps for his country and played for Inter Milan, Marseille and Barcelona, before ending his career with Manchester United.
By lunchtime it was reported that Blanc had agreed to sign on a two-year deal, with a statement expected to follow later in the day.
The deal would appear to pave the way for Carlo Ancelotti to finalise his much rumoured move to Madrid. Ancelotti announced his intention to walk away from the club as soon as it became clear that Mourinho would not be staying on beyond the end of the season.
This was a big blow for the Parisian club’s Qatari owners, who hope to rival the likes of Real, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich at the top of the European game in years to come. Their search for a manager has been long and at times embarrassing, but looks to be over now.
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