France World Cup hero Didier Deschamps is to take over from Eric Gerets as manager of Marseille next season, the club announced on its website on Tuesday.
The Belgian has guided the southern giants this season to within striking distance of their first league title since 1992, but he made it clear to his players last week that he would leave no matter what.
Deschamps, who skippered France to the World Cup title in 1998, has previously been coach at Monaco and Juventus. He will take over from Gerets in June.
A club statement said that Deschamps had agreed to a two-year deal after chairman Pape Diouf and majority share-holder Robert Louis-Dreyfus had decided he was the man they wanted to replace the popular Gerets.
“The choice of Didier Deschamps, whose career both as a player and a coach prove his merits, was a natural one to make,” the statement said.
What mattered now, it continued, was to concentrate totally on winning the league title and that Gerets would have full powers to achieve that goal despite his decision to leave,
With four games to go until the end of the season, Marseille are level at the top with Bordeaux. Both clubs have 68 points with Marseille having scored one goal more.
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