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Laurent Blanc Champions League failure could open up carousel with PSG, Manchester United and Jose Mourinho

Laurent Blanc hinted that his job could be on the line after Paris Saint-Germain were dumped out at the Champions League quarter-final stage for the fourth successive season.

Football

Laurent Blanc Champions League failure could open up carousel with PSG, Manchester United and Jose Mourinho

NEWISSUES, Abuja

Blanc, who has won the Ligue 1 title with ease in all three of his seasons in charge at the Parc des Princes, oversaw another failure for the cash-rich side which is sure to anger the club’s billionaire Qatari owners.

PSG dominated possession at the Etihad, but were unable to capitalise, failing to create many clear cut chances as Manchester City progressed to the semi-final with Kevin De Bruyne’s goal.

Blanc accepted that the majority of the blame rested on his shoulders – something that could cause a seismic shift in the football landscape this summer.

“Sure, [the future] is something we need to think about that but there are a lot more things we need to think about,” Blanc said after the defeat. “We need to ask ourselves good questions and find answers as well.

“But of course I am responsible. I put the team together, selected it, the strategy we use. When we win, it is the players. When we lose, I take responsibility.

“Even though we made a few mistakes in the first match, we were still hopeful we could score tonight. We thought we would create plenty of chances.

“City surprised me more tonight. They were very solid, particularly in the middle of defence, but ultimately the buck stops with me.”

Not only could Blanc’s failure impact where he is next season, but where Jose Mourinho ends up and who takes over at Manchester United.

Mourinho, of course, is out of a job after Chelsea sacked him in December, six months after leading the Blues to their first Premier League title in five years.

PSG would, surely, be one of the handful of super clubs that the Portuguese boss would be interested in taking over.

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Jose Mourinho has turned down PSG twice in the past

Mourinho, as his past choices have shown, does not want to take charge of a club where he has to build and develop players, he wants a team ready to compete with the very best in Europe as soon as he takes charge.

PSG would surely be an attractive option for the former Chelsea manager and the club would certainly be interested in his services – even if he rejected them twice in the past.

“I knew the project of PSG before even the start of the project. I think I can say that,” Mourinho said in December 2014. “I was the first choice to go there with Leonardo. Before Carlo Ancelotti. And when Ancelotti left they also offered me the job. Twice. I said no twice.

“I thought about it a lot but I was at Real Madrid once and decided to return to Chelsea for the second time.”

Mourinho is also linked with a return to Real Madrid, while day doesn’t go by where a move to replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United isn’t mentioned.

The 53-year-old taking over at Old Trafford is still the likeliest, according to the bookies, with BetVictor placing the odds for Manchester United to be Mourinho’s next job at 4/6.

However, PSG are also firmly in the race – the fourth favourites at 10/1 –  a price that is likely to shorten after PSG’s exit.

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Blanc was a favourite of Sir Alex Ferguson’s during his two-year spell at Manchester United (Getty )

Blanc is also considered a potential Manchester United manager in future, given his stint at the club at the turn of the century.

Van Gaal still has until the end of next season to run on his contract, but as The Independent’s Mark Ogden wrote on Tuesday, the ruling Glazer family will not accept continued failure when it hurts their pockets so much.

Former France captain Blanc played 75 games in two seasons under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the Premier League title in 2002-03.

When Ferguson retired in 2013, Blanc was a leading candidate to replace him, and the 50-year-old is currently fifth favourite, at 12/1, to be the next Manchester United manager.

There are a lot of ifs, buts and maybes for these scenarios to play out, but Blanc failing to get PSG into Friday’s semi-final draw just made it a whole lot more likely.

 

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