Raymond Domenech has told Patrick Vieira he still has time to seal a place in France's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ squad.
The 33-year-old was not named in Domenech's team for next week's friendly against Spain, having played just two matches since his January move from Inter Milan to Manchester City.
"We talked about it and agreed that this was not enough," Domenech said. "He has played two whole games. It would do no good to throw him in against Spain. It's two months before the World Cup (squad announcement). He still has time."
Marseille midfielder Benoit Cheyrou was handed a debut call-up for next Wednesday's game at the Stade de France. The 28-year-old had never been included in the senior international set up but is now in line to win his first full cap following some impressive performances this season.
It's two months before the World Cup (squad announcement). He still has time.
Domenech has also named Bordeaux midfielder Mickael Ciani for the first time in his 24-man squad. Everton striker Louis Saha has been rewarded for his performances by his first call-up since November 2006, meaning Djibril Cisse missed out.
"We looked at him, but there are positions where there are more people than others," Domenech said of Panathinaikos striker Cisse. "He was competing with Louis Saha who is also performing at the moment. I had to make a choice. Cisse has the potential but it's a competition problem. I can't take 14 centre-forwards."
Les Bleus' match against the UEFA EURO 2008 champions will be their first outing since November's controversial FIFA World Cup play-off against the Republic of Ireland.
Squad: Lloris (Lyon), Mandanda (Marseille), Carrasso (Bordeaux); Boumsong (Lyon), Escude (Sevilla), Evra (Manchester United), Sagna (Arsenal), Rami (Lille), Ciani (Bordeaux), Cissokho (Lyon), Fanni (Rennes); Diarra (Real Madrid), Toulalan (Lyon), Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Ribery (Bayern Munich), Sissoko (Toulouse), Malouda (Chelsea), Cheyrou (Marseille), Ben Arfa (Marseille); Henry (Barcelona), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Govou (Lyon), Remy (Nice), Saha (Everton)