News broke this morning that Manchester United had sacked manager David Moyes with immediate effect, and instantly the internet began to speculate who would be the man to replace for the former Everton boss.
The usual suspects were named: Louis van Gaal, Jurgen Klopp, even caretaker boss Ryan Giggs. However, one name missing from the list is current Paris Saint-Germain coach, Laurent Blanc, and there are a few signs that show this is one move that could have legs.
Before the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League, Blanc was linked with signing a new two-year extension to his current 12 month deal, but after PSG’s elimination the rumours began to come out that PSG’s owners were not convinced of his managerial abilities.
Then to counter QSI’s doubts, there were rumours that Blanc himself had not signed the deal as he was unclear whether or not he should continue to work in the French capital. He reportedly had doubts over how much power he would have in transfer decisions and just how safe his future at the club would be.
I wonder why Laurent Blanc asked for an extra week to consider #PSG's contract extension offer— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) April 22, 2014
Victory in Saturday night’s Coupe de la Ligue final seemed to edge both parties towards agreeing a deal. But news came out on twitter this morning that Blanc had asked for more time to decide if he should sign a new contract. It could just be coincidence that the timing of Moyes’ release and Blanc’s delay are overlapping, but perhaps the Frenchman was aware of the situation about to develop at the club he played 48 games for.
Blanc’s CV is excellent: He has won the World Cup and European Championship as a player with France and is about to win the Ligue 1 title with his second team as coach. Although he has been a success in Paris, there are huge doubts over his ability to coach one of the world’s greatest clubs.
In the second-leg against Chelsea, Blanc showed tactical naivety, and it has shown during his tenure at both PSG and previously at Bordeaux. When everything is going well, Blanc is a great coach that can shape teams to play excellent attacking football, something that United lacked under Moyes. However, it is when the chips are down that Blanc does not always impress.
At Bordeaux, the year after winning the title, the results began to turn as the teams’ star players were sold, and Blanc was unable to stop a massive decline in results. Now at PSG he has shown an inability to turn around losing situations.
On the plus side, Blanc did take Bordeaux all the way to the title in 2009 when no one predicted they would be contenders. He made some excellent signings and built that team up from European contenders, to league champions, similar to the rebuilding job he would be required to perform at United.
If Klopp and van Gaal are not available and Blanc does not sign his new deal soon, the former United centre-back could be tempted to make the jump across the channel and begin a new chapter at Old Trafford.