Laurent Blanc reportedly steps down as France manager
Laurent Blanc has reportedly stepped down from his post as France manager today following a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign marked by infighting and underperformance.
According to French sports newspaper L'Equipe, Blanc will not renew his contract as France boss, which expires today. "Laurent Blanc made his decision and will not be the France coach anymore," reads the report on L'Equipe's website.
The news was neither confirmed nor denied by the 46-year-old's agent Jean-Pierre Bernes. Prior to a surprise defeat to Sweden in France's final Group D game, Blanc's side had amassed an impressive 23-match unbeaten run, yet the successive loss to Sweden, followed by an abject exit at the hands of Spain shattered the previous image of the side.
France's campaign was also beset by rumours of infighting and the public squabbles of Samir Nasri with the French media, with the Manchester City midfielder potentially facing a two-year international ban. Nasri's remarks to a journalist during the tournament, which included the lines "you are looking for s***" and "f*** you" were deemed "intolerable by France's football president Noel le Graet afterwards.
With Blanc seemingly a free agent once more, he will no doubt be linked to the vacant managerial role at Tottenham Hotspur, while the French position is believed to be on its way to former Olympique Marseilles manager Didier Deschamps.