Thursday, November 23, 2017

French fancy? Deschamps can see Mourinho managing in Ligue 1

SoccerNews in World Cup 9 Nov 2017

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Didier Deschamps believes Jose Mourinho could be tempted to join a French team at some stage in the future.

Having won domestic titles in England, Italy and Spain already in his coaching career, Manchester United’s Portuguese manager has recently been linked with big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.

The Ligue 1 side have the financial muscle to tempt Mourinho, but current PSG boss Unai Emery has yet to taste defeat this season and has already steered the club through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

France national team boss Deschamps told a media conference: “I know you talk about a lot of things in England. If Jose Mourinho wants to come, why not?”
 
“I think he is pretty happy at Manchester United at the moment. He used to visit a lot of countries. He visited Italy, Spain, England. Not France yet. Why not?”

Deschamps recalled United’s Anthony Martial to a 24-man squad for the upcoming friendlies with Wales and Germany – but fellow forward Karim Benzema was again left out.

The Real Madrid striker, who has scored just two goals in 12 appearances for his club this season, has not featured for France since October 2015 after becoming embroiled in a scandal involving an alleged attempt to blackmail international colleague Mathieu Valbuena.

“I’m here, I have two games to prepare for. I’ve called 24 players, and I trust them,” a defiant Deschamps said when questioned over Benzema’s continued absence.

“It doesn’t annoy me [the debates about Benzema]. It’s part of the media landscape. You are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want.  It’s not something that will change my mind or change my ideas about the French team.”

France face Wales in Paris on Friday before travelling to take on Germany next Tuesday, with Deschamps intending to give all his players the chance to impress ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“Some players will play both games. I don’t know who yet. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” he added. 

“I have the possibility of having six changes, because there are friendly games – it allows me to give more players time to play.

“But when I see the quality of our next opponents, whether it’s Wales or Germany, it’s important to have a minimum number of reference points. There are eight important players missing. That’s eight players I used a lot for World Cup qualifiers. That’s not an excuse.

“For the rest, I have confidence in the 24 players. I want to play with as many players as possible.”

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