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Laurent Blanc

PSG boss hints at Blanc departure


Paris (AFP) – The future of Laurent Blanc as Paris Saint-Germain coach was thrown into grave doubt on Friday after the chairman of the big-spending French champions said major changes were afoot.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi in April insisted that Blanc, who has been head coach at Qatari-owned PSG since 2013, would stay on despite failing once again to get past the quarter-final stages of the Champions League.

But just weeks on the ambitious Al-Khelaifi strongly suggested that could be set to change and dropped a major hint that he could be after Atletico Madrid’s in-demand coach Diego Simeone.

“The players, the coach, the management, we need turnover, a new cycle,” he told the Le Parisien newspaper.

“I’ve supported (Blanc) for three years. Now, I have to ask the right questions. Big changes could happen.

“I’ve been here for five years and this is the first time that we have this sense of failure. This isn’t simply the fact of having lost in the quarter-finals of the Champions League (to Manchester City), it’s the way it happened.

“This elimination is the worst moment since I came to Paris.”

Despite signing a new contract in February taking him through to June 2018, Blanc’s position with the club’s money-bags owners came under threat with the tame surrender to City.

Blanc led PSG to a runaway fourth straight win in the French league, and success in the domestic cups, but it appears not to have been enough for his Qatari bosses.

Al-Khelaifi did not list names of a possible replacement for Blanc, but said in the interview that he had “a lot of respect for Atletico”.

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