Laurent Blanc is set to succeed Raymond Domenech as France coach after the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, having confirmed his departure from Bordeaux today. France Football Federation (FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes issued a statement following the 44-year-old's, confirming he is their preferred man for the job.
"I take note of the decision announced today by Laurent Blanc, the day after the last day of the Ligue 1 season, officially declaring his interest for the position of national coach," Escalettes said. "Blanc spoke to me on the telephone after informing his president and his players.
"This declaration of interest makes me happy. His sporting history, his personality, his charisma, makes Blanc the ideal fit for the profile of the coach of the France team beyond the World Cup. In the coming hours, the FFF will take the necessary steps with the relevant parties to define the terms of an agreement allowing Laurent Blanc to take control of the national team next season."
The former defender's departure from Bordeaux came as little surprise. They lost their Ligue 1 crown to Marseille 11 days ago, having suffered a late-season drop-off in form that Blanc partly blamed on the ongoing speculation regarding his future.
When the announcement came, Blanc left no doubt as to why he was going. "FC Girondins de Bordeaux have just been informed by their coach Laurent Blanc that he wants to accept the offer from the FFF to become France coach," a club statement said.
"The club wanted to keep Laurent Blanc as coach of the first team until the end of his contract on June 30, 2011. Given the special quality of the relationship with the coach during his three years at the club, and the excellent work by Mr Blanc, his assistant Mr Gasset, and his coaching team, FC Girondins de Bordeaux has agreed to talk to the FFF on the question on compensation relating to the release of our coach."
However, the statement added a note of complaint which suggested Bordeaux agreed with Blanc that the speculation had hurt their season and would seek compensation.
"Despite the damaging statements from members of the FFF, which have undoubtedly affected the end of the 2009/10 season and beyond, FC Girondins de Bordeaux express their willingness to reach a solution acceptable to the club, respectful of its interests and the damage suffered," the statement added.