Premier League giants Chelsea are reportedly considering Laurent Blanc for the managerial position at Stamford Bridge, should Antonio Conte leave in the summer.
As per a report in France Football (h/t Le10Sport), former Paris Saint-Germain, France and Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc is courting interest from the soon to be deposed Premier League champions Chelsea, Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais and Premier League side Everton.
Current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s future has come under immense speculation in recent weeks due to a string of poor results. The Italian has been widely tipped to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, by way of getting the axe or by mutual consent.
The Chelsea board’s failure to sign Conte’s top summer targets over the course of the past two seasons would not have gone down well with the Italian and the effects are clear to see. The Blues are currently fifth in the league table, out of the Champions League spots with only the FA Cup left to play for.
Conte recently stated that reports of him wanting to leave were untrue, but that hasn’t stopped the rumour mills from going into overdrive and the likes of Massimiliano Allegri, Leonardo Jardim, Luis Enrique and now Blanc have been linked with the top job at Stamford Bridge.
The 52-year-old Blanc, started his playing career in the 1983/84 season with Montpellier. He would then go onto play for Napoli, Nimes Olympique, Saint-Etienne, Auxerre, Barcelona and Internazionale, before ending his career with Manchester United in the same year that Roman Abramovich took over at Chelsea.
With 770 appearances for club and country, 146 career goals and 9 major trophies including the World Cup, European Championship and the Premier League in two decades, it would suffice to say that the the Frenchman has had a more than respectable career.
He has also enjoyed great success as a manager in France, first leading Bordeaux to the Ligue 1 title, the Coupe de La Ligue and and the Trophee des Champions and then PSG to 3 League titles, 2 Coupe de France titles, 3 Coupe de La Ligue titles and the Trophee des Champions on 3 occasions.
On the international stage, he managed his native France for two years before stepping down after France got knocked out the Euro 2012 quarter-finals by eventual winners Spain. He stepped down after winning 16, losing 4 and drawing 7 of their 27 games in that time.
A strong advocate of possession play, Blanc’s arrival will almost certainly bring with it some beautiful attacking football to the SW6. He is known for his good man-management as and Serge Aurier will attest, isn’t one to take an indiscretions lightly.
Blanc will be well aware that the Ligue 1 is vastly different from the Premier League in terms of competition and difficulty and that Chelsea don’t quite have the same financial backing and arguably the same kind of pull that PSG have enjoyed in recent years.
The Blues might not even be able to offer Champions League football next season, which will make attracting new players infinitely harder.
Should Conte leave in the summer, Blanc will have to start a massive rebuilding project from scratch and it remains to be seen whether he is up to the task. However, the Frenchman isn’t one to shy away from a challenge, and managing a ruthless Chelsea side in the world’s most competitive football league is as big as they come.