Blanc to become next France coach, says FFF

Paris: The French soccer federation (FFF) and Ligue 1 side Girondins Bordeaux have reached an agreement that will see Laurent Blanc become the next France coach.

Blanc will replace Raymond Domenech after the June 11-July 11 World Cup in South Africa. The 44-year-old took over as coach of Bordeaux three years ago, leading them to a Ligue 1 and League Cup double least season.

"The French federation and Girondins Bordeaux have reached an agreement regarding the recruitment of Laurent Blanc as France coach," the FFF said in a statement on Thursday.

Bordeaux said last Sunday they would expect financial compensation for letting Blanc go. He had one year left on his contract with the Aquitaine club.

A senior FFF official said he did not expect Blanc to be officially named as coach before the World Cup.

"To my knowledge there will be no official announcement before the World Cup," Jacques Lambert told the French sports daily L`Equipe on Thursday.

A World Cup winner with France in 1998, although he missed the final through suspension, Blanc played for several leading clubs including Barcelona, Olympique Marseille, Inter Milan and Manchester United.

He has been dubbed "the President" for his leadership skills.

Bureau Report

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