Le Guen to become France's next coach?
Oman's football coach, Paul Le Guen, has emerged as the frontrunner to take over the French national team, according to media reports in France. The reports follow the resignation of Laurent Blanc, who did not renew his contract on Saturday after France's disappointing exit in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.
It was earlier reported that the job would go to Didier Deschamps, the former French international and Marseille coach, especially after he quit as coach of the club on Monday. But while French daily Le Monde reported that Deschamps was out of the race, a TV channel and a radio station labelled Frenchman Le Guen as the top contender.
France TV's website reported that the French Football Federation (FFF) will meet on Tuesday to discuss the appointment of a new coach, adding that 'Paul Le Guen seems on track to hold the rope'.
French radio station RMC (Radio Monte Carlo) reported on its website that Le Guen's name is being discussed with greater emphasis within the FFF along with that of Francis Smerecki, the current coach of France's youth teams.
When contacted by Muscat Daily, Le Guen declined to comment on the reports. The Oman team manager Mohammed al Alawi said, “The coach is in Muscat and following the Oman's campaign in the AFC U22 Asian Championship qualifiers.”
Le Guen signed a two-year contract with Oman Football Association (OFA) last June, taking over from compatriot Claude Le Roy. He was earlier coach of Cameroon, guiding the African side to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where it was knocked out in the group stage.
Le Guen has also played 17 matches as a defender for France before embarking on coaching stints with various clubs.