Having reportedly being turned down by Andre Villas-Boas, Fabio Capello, Guus Hiddink, Michael Laudrup, and even Frank Rijkaard among others, Laurent Blanc may now be the man to finally say “yes” to the reigning French champions.
BeIN Sport revealed early this morning that Blanc had agreed to a 2-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain, but it appears they have jumped the gun a bit.
Blanc’s agent Jean-Pierre Bernes has denied that his client agreed to a deal just yet in, confirming however in an interview with French radio station RMC that the two sides are in negotiations.
A statement appeared on beIN Sports’ website earlier this morning, saying, “An agreement was reached today between Paris St Germain and Laurent Blanc for him to become the new coach of the capital club. An agreement between the former coach of the France team and PSG was reached for two years. It is planned that he will sign the contract next week.”
BeIN Sport is owned and operated by PSG owners Qatari Sports Investments. The original story has been taken down from beIN’s website.
It’s a bit of a surprise that the contract is for two years. Rumors have been flying that PSG have been steadfast in insisting their incoming manager sign just a one-year deal as the French giants anticipate their top target Arsene Wenger’s contract with Arsenal expiring next June.
This has caused a large number of coaches at every level to turn down PSG, wanting more than just a year of job security.
Blanc took charge of the French national team after their disastrous run in the 2010 World Cup through their trip to the quarterfinals of Euro 2012, after which he stepped down. He was also in charge of Ligue 1 side Bordeaux for three years prior to leading Les Blues.
Any appointment PSG can finally make would release Carlo Ancelotti to make his way to Real Madrid, a deal that’s been the worst-kept secret in soccer for the better part of a month or two.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
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No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
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Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday