Big spending French giants PSG looked set to dispense with the services of boss Laurent Blanc in the next week according to French sports paper L’Equipe.
The 50-year-old has had mixed results in the French capital, but is a highly-rated boss.
With his exit likely and Premier League Southampton looking for a new boss, would the former-France boss be a good choice for the Saints?
On the hunt for another boss
Southampton has become a breeding ground for foreign bosses who want to prove themselves in English football. They tend to do a good job and move on to bigger clubs. Mauricio Pochettino established a decent reputation before moving on to Tottenham.
This summer Dutch boss Ronald Koeman followed suit by moving to Everton after two years in charge of the Saints. Koeman stabilised the club following a summer of upheaval and a migration north of half of the Saints squad.
Koeman did a good job on the south coast, even if some Saints fans are now deriding the job that the Dutchman did because of the manner of his exit.
Southampton are being linked with the same names Everton were prior to the appointment of Koeman, in the likes of Manuel Pellegrini and Frank De Boer. However, rather bizarrely USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has reportedly became one of the favourites for the job at odds of 8/1.
Blanc’s compatriot Claude Puel is the favourite to be the next Saints boss, but the apparent availability of Blanc could be of interest to the club from the south coast.
A very good CV
Laurent Blanc is a man with an impressive CV from both his playing and his coaching career in football. The former-World Cup winner is a highly-respected figure in the game and his nickname ‘Le President’ was acquired because of his leadership abilities during his time Marseille in his playing days.
He took those leadership skills into his managerial career with Bordeaux, the French national team and more recently PSG. Blanc has won the Ligue One title in three consecutive seasons, which may be underplayed because of the resources that PSG give their bosses.
However, it is easy to forget that Blanc also won the French top-flight title and cup with Bordeaux, which gave him the chance to manage his national side in the first place. He was not chosen as Les Bleus boss for no reason, his performance in Bordeaux lead him to the job.
Blanc has no doubt moved the Parisian outfit forward and PSG made the quarter-final of the Champions League last season, only to be beaten by their English equivalent Manchester City 3-2 on aggregate.
The defeat led to widespread criticism of Blanc from pundits, fans and the clubs hierarchy itself. It also led to question marks over his future in Paris. It is now clear that Blanc’s future lies elsewhere, so why not in the Premier League.
A good fit at Southampton
It remains to be seen if Blanc would fancy the job in the south coast, but he could be a good fit for the Saints. He is another foreign boss who has not yet managed a team in the Premier League and needs a good club to thrive and rebuild his reputation.
Southampton are a well-run club, with a decent squad and a good youth set-up. The team assembled by Koeman is a good mixture of youth and experience, although they have just lost defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama to Tottenham.
The likes of Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle are also both being heavily linked with moves elsewhere, with ironically Liverpool believed to be interested in signing Mane. It seems the Reds just cannot resist the urge to pillage Southampton.
Blanc is unlikely to be given a job at one of Europe’s top clubs, but a move to the Premier League should be of interest to the 50-year-old and Southampton looks to be as good any club to start a career in Premier League management.
Would Laurent Blanc be a realistic managerial target for Southampton?