Blanc denies France rumours

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc has rubbished reports that he has agreed in principle to take over as France coach.

Speculation is rife that, following secret meetings with the France Football Federation (FFF), Blanc has agreed to succeed Raymond Domenech after the World Cup.

Blanc announced at the beginning of the month that he would remain tight-lipped on the matter for the rest of the campaign but broke his silence today to dismiss the reports.

Blanc said: “What do you want me to tell you? I said that I wouldn’t speak about it any more, but I’ll do so anyway out of politeness.

“I’ll be very brief and very polite because that’s what’s needed: I deny everything that has been said. Full stop.”

Federation chief Jean-Pierre Escalettes also insists no such agreement exists with Blanc, who is under contract with his club until 2011.

“It’s completely false,” he told French radio station RMC. “It’s ridiculous. Of course I completely deny it.

“Absolutely nothing justifies this type of rumour. It seems absurd to me.

“I have to ask myself what they are looking for with these type of rumours. It’s doing wrong to the France team.”

This is only Blanc’s third season in management.

In his first campaign he steered Bordeaux to second spot in Ligue 1 before finally ending Lyon’s stranglehold on the French title last year.

Domenech has been in charge of the France team since 2004 and led Les Bleus to the World Cup final four years ago.

However, France have disappointed since then and many thought Domenech should have gone following a disastrous Euro 2008 campaign.

The former Lyon coach stayed on but disenchantment has grown still further after France struggled to qualify for this summer’s World Cup, with a controversial handball incident in their play-off against the Republic of Ireland securing their spot in South Africa.

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