PSG Respond to Rumours That Antonio Conte Will Replace Laurent Blanc

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2014

Juventus coach Antonio Conte waves to supporters prior to the start of a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Atalanta at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Monday, May 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have refuted claims that manager Laurent Blanc is set to be replaced by ex-Juventus helmsman Antonio Conte.

ESPN FC's Mark Rodden collected a few reports on the topic. He found that Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport claimed on Wednesday that Conte, who recently left his post in Turin, could replace Blanc soon, while French news agency RMC Sport quote a PSG source in rubbishing speculation:

"Why change a few days before the start of the season when everything is going well with Blanc? It's really ridiculous."

Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

Conte controversially parted ways with Juve earlier this month after winning three consecutive Serie A titles with the club. Rodden points out a report from French newspaper L'Equipe indicating the rumours have been instigated from within the manager's camp in order to drum up interest in his services.

Italian football expert James Horncastle shows some doubt in the Corriere dello Sport claim, citing previous speculation regarding Massimiliano Allegri, now at the Juventus helm:

However, Horncastle also indicates some support of why the French powerhouse might opt to sign the Italian as a replacement for Blanc, hinting that his influence would bring them closer to the European glory they seek so fiercely:

ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson disagrees, however, noting Conte's own failings in continental competition as a reason to keep Blanc in his current role:

In his maiden campaign at Parc des Princes, former Manchester United star Blanc won both the French league title and the Coupe de la Ligue.

PSG also reached the Champions League quarter-finals for a second year in succession under his command, giving the club some indication as to why they'd be right to persevere with him as manager.

However, Conte also brings a sound tactical prospect to the table, and following several years of resounding dominance in his native Italy, the club's Qatari owners may be tempted by his talents, too.

As is only right for a club of their size, Paris Saint-Germain have a number of coveted coaches in their sights but are currently poised to defend their Ligue 1 title with the same man who led them to it last term.