PSG part company with Blanc amid Emery talk


Paris (AFP) – Laurent Blanc left his role as Paris Saint-Germain coach on Monday, the French Ligue 1 champions announced, with former Sevilla coach Unai Emery widely expected to replace him.

“My collaboration with PSG ends today,” said Blanc, 50. “I would like to thank all the people who’ve worked alongside me.

“I spent three seasons here that were fulfilling on a human and professional level, littered with numerous trophies.

“I wish the best for PSG and its supporters as well as good luck for my successor.”

Emery, 44, is tipped as the favourite to take over from Blanc having guided the Spanish side to three successive Europa League titles.

French sports daily L’Equipe had said on Thursday that Blanc would pocket 22 million euros ($24m) as part of his severance package, but the club did not reveal any financial details.

Blanc arrived at PSG in 2013 and won the domestic treble in each of his last two seasons with the club. But it was his failure to make substantial progress in the Champions League that proved his undoing.

The former France defender, a World Cup winner in 1998 and Euro 2000 champion, took over PSG after two years in charge of the French national side and had signed a two-year extension with the club in February.

A statement read: “In a respectful atmosphere, negotiations were completed on 27 June. An agreement, by common accord, preserves the interests of both parties.”

Assistant coach Jean-Louis Gasset and fitness trainer Philippe Lambert also left the club as part of the deal that was struck. 

“As we embark on a new chapter in the development of the club, I would like to thank Laurent Blanc for everything he has achieved over the last three years, both in terms of the playing style and results,” Qatari club owner Nasser al-Khelaifi said.

“I wish him the best for his future challenges.”

Khelaifi had hinted earlier this month that Blanc’s time was up.

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

Khelaifi was particularly unimpressed with the limp manner PSG lost to Manchester City in the Champions League this season.

“This elimination is the worst moment since I came to Paris,” he said of that 3-2 aggregate defeat in April.

According to Spanish media, Emery asked to terminate his contract with Sevilla just over a fortnight ago after receiving an offer from PSG that was “too good to refuse”.

Emery has a wealth of coaching experience including Valencia, Spartak Moscow and Almeria, although his only silverware has been with Sevilla.

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