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Sport

Blanc keeps Tottenham waiting as he mulls future with France

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-29

Laurent Blanc will make a decision in the next 48 hours on whether to remain as manager of Les Bleus after holding talks with the French Football Federation. Blanc has been linked with various clubs around Europe, including Tottenham Hotspur.

AFP - The French Football Federation on Thursday elected to postpone a decision on the future of coach Laurent Blanc, the coach revealed following talks with FFF chairman Noel Le Graet.

Le Graet has been mulling France's options after their Euro 2012 quarter-final exit to Spain, which achieved the minimum target for Les Bleus - though the image of the squad was tarnished by altercations between Samir Nasri and the media and other stories of unrest in the camp.

According to a source close to the talks while they were amicable there was one thing missing from Le Graet's discourse.

"Blanc wanted to hear 'I am eager to work with you' but this phrase was not uttered," the source said.



Blanc for his part presented a positive spin to the talks when he left prior to returning to Bordeaux.

"We share many points of view," said Blanc after his discussions with Le Graet - not generally regarded as an ally of the former France international.

Blanc revealed the pair have elected to wait and give it "48 hours to think things over" before deciding whether he should stay in a post he took after succeeding the much-maligned Raymond Domenech after a catastrophic last World Cup.

"We talked and both gave our view of the situation. We had a little technical overview of the Euros. It was all very courteous. We share many points of view.

"Beyond that it is first of all a personal thing as far as I am concerned. That's why we haven't taken a decision and we are going to take 48 hours to think it over," Blanc explained after talks at the Federation

"I said what I had to say. I think he told me what he had to say and that's a good thing," said Blanc, whose contract runs out this weekend.

Blanc had requested a contract extension before the tournament while Le Graet made that conditional on France getting out of the group.

They did so - but only as runners-up to England, meaning they were saddled with a match against defending champions Spain, who proved a bridge too far.

Other bones of contention for Le Graet, who was elected to his post in 2010 after the World Cup debacle though he had been a strong supporter of Domenech after a similarly inept Euro 2008 campaign, is that he considers the Blanc regime too extravagant in terms of costs.

Le Graet, a former president of Brittany football side Guingamp and Socialist mayor of the town from 1995-2008, wants an end to the squad spending the eve of games in France at Enghien-les-Bains and wants the French backroom staff reduced from its present total of 22.

If for one reason or another Blanc does not sign a new contract, Le Graet will have to make a quick decision as to his replacement.

The name of former Lyon, Rangers and Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen has been mentioned as has that of Blanc's World Cup and Euro winning skipper Didier Deschamps, who is presently negotiating his departure from Marseille.

However, Deschamps would not come cheaply and like Blanc is represented by a bete noir of Le Graet's Jean-Pierre Bernes, who also represents several of the players much to the annoyance of the federation president.

France's first 2014 World Cup qualifier is on September 7 against Finland in a group that also contains Spain while they have a friendly against Copa America champions Uruguay on August 15 at Le Havre.

Date created : 2012-06-29

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