BORDEAUX - France are poised to
name former World Cup winner Laurent Blanc as the man to take
over from unpopular coach Raymond Domenech after the World Cup.
Blanc told his club Girondins Bordeaux on Sunday he wanted
to leave with one year remaining on his contract in order to
take the reins of the national team.
"Girondins Bordeaux have been informed by Laurent Blanc that
he wanted to answer favourably to the French federation (FFF)'s
approaches to become the France coach," Bordeaux said in a
"Girondins Bordeaux expect to hear from the FFF on the
question of the compensation linked to the release of their
Blanc, 44, became Bordeaux coach three years ago, leading
them to a Ligue 1 and League Cup double least season.
A World Cup winner with France in 1998 although he missed
the final through suspension, Blanc, who played for clubs
including Barcelona, Olympique Marseille, Inter Milan and
Manchester United, is nicknamed "the President" for his
The French federation is expected to officially unveil
Domenech's successor on Thursday.
"I am pleased. The past, the personality, the charisma of
Laurent Blanc correspond to the profile the FFF is looking for
to strengthen the ambitions of the France team after the World
Cup in South Africa," FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes said
in a statement.
"In the coming hours, the FFF will make contact with the
parties involved to define the conditions of a deal allowing
Laurent Blanc to take the reins of the France team next season."
Domenech will lead the French team to the World Cup in South
Africa next month and former sweeper Blanc will take over after
the tournament with the task of trying to qualify Les Bleus for
the Euro 2012 finals.
Blanc, who also won Euro 2000 with France and earned 97
international caps, is regarded as a pragmatic coach who also
likes to his teams to play with attacking flair.
"He has a lot of experience at the highest level, he played
in great clubs," said Bordeaux midfielder Alou Diarra.
Former team mate Didier Deschamps, now Olympique Marseille
coach, said last week Blanc was a good choice for the job.
"It's very good, it's a very good choice," he said.
Bordeaux finished top of Champions League Group A this
season ahead of Bayern Munich and Juventus before being knocked
out in the quarter-finals by domestic rivals Olympique Lyon.
They will not play in Europe next season after finishing
sixth in the league.
Blanc applied for the France post in 2004. At that time, he
had no coaching experience and Domenech got the job.
Domenech led France to the World Cup final in 2006, losing
on penalties to Italy, but Les Bleus crashed out in the first
round of Euro 2008.
He has been widely criticised in France by personalities
including former French Open champion Yannick Noah and sports
junior minister Rama Yade.
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