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Paris – Former France captain Didier Deschamps is in talks with the French Football Federation (FFF) about becoming the national team's new manager, a source close to the talks revealed Saturday.
“We are in full negotiation. It's a step further, but it's not yet an outcome. We are in the phase of entry into talks. If there is an outcome and an agreement, I think it won't be before tomorrow (Sunday),” the source added.
The development comes a week after Laurent Blanc's decision to step down from the post following two years in charge after being unable to reach an agreement with FFF president Noel Le Graet on a new contract .
Deschamps became increasingly linked as a candidate to fill the vacancy after quitting his position as coach of Marseille last Monday.
The 43-year-old – who captained France to the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 titles – had asked Marseille to be released from his post on May 23, though he still had two years left on his contract.
His initial request to leave had nothing to do with the France post as Blanc was still in charge, but following Blanc's departure he quickly became the bookies favourite to take over Les Bleus.
Le Graet then hinted during a press conference on Tuesday that Deschamps was his preferred choice to take over the reins, 24 hours after he had stepped down from the Stade Velodrome hotseat.
“He is part of a short-list,” Le Graet said. “It's a very good choice (...) The desire to work together is real, I've known him for forever.”
Should the FFF appoint Deschamps, his first match would come against Copa America champions Uruguay on August 15 at Le Havre. France then start their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign on September 7 against Finland in a group that also contains defending champions Spain.
Blanc stepped down after guiding France to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals where they lost to eventual winners Spain. – Sapa-AFP