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."
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:
Conte close to PSG, according to Corriere dello Sport... Allegri had also signed for Tottenham remember... ;) pic.twitter.com/IimyEcNulH— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 23, 2014
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:
@EwanRCD couldn’t disagree more with that. Real substance behind Conte. right job, he’ll win it— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 23, 2014
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:
If PSG do replace Laurent Blanc with Antonio Conte, strange decision considering the Italian does not clearly have greater UCL experience.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) July 23, 2014
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.
Should PSG stick with Blanc or chase Conte?
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.