Manchester United have reportedly made an inquiry about the availability of Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc.
According to French website Le10 Sport (h/t Goal.com), the Red Devils are on the lookout for a possible replacement for incumbent Louis van Gaal. The piece noted that Blanc, a former United player, has been “shortlisted” for the position and is apparently “attracted” by the chance to take the top job at Old Trafford.
Since taking over at PSG, Blanc has steered the capital club to two league titles, and his side look set to win another this term. During his playing career, he helped France to World Cup glory in 1998; he also represented Barcelona, Inter Milan and Montpellier as well as United.
Things have been tough for Van Gaal, with United struggling to put together any kind of form in the Premier League.
The Red Devils have lacked attacking impetus this term, with the Dutchman setting the team up to play a slow and steady style of football. It’s not a method that sits well with a lot of United supporters, and although Van Gaal was able to steer United to a win in their last outing, a 2-1 triumph over Swansea City on Jan. 2, the jury is still out.
As United expert OffsideLiam noted, the Dutchman could quickly find himself under huge pressure again if things don’t go well on Saturday.
Many will downplay the achievements of Blanc, given the budget and players at his disposal at the Parc des Princes.
But managing a side with huge personalities is not easy, and for a club that has the financial clout to tempt any manager in the game, it’s a testament to the Frenchman’s skills that PSG have decided to stand by him. Indeed, the only thing left for Blanc to achieve with PSG is Champions League glory.
If anything, one could argue Blanc’s credentials as a manager are underrated, as football writer John Nicholson noted recently.
Van Gaal’s contract with United is set to run until the end of the 2016-17 season, but if things continue as they are, it’d be no surprise to see his tenure cut short. Blanc, who is a proven winner as a player and manager, not to mention massively popular among the United supporters, seems to fit the bill when pondering a potential replacement.
The Premier League is different from French football, meaning the ex-Bordeaux boss would have some adapting to do. But as is the case with his role at PSG, Blanc would have money to spend on the squad, and after dominating in Ligue 1 for the entirety of his tenure, the challenge of pushing United back toward the summit of European football would be enticing.