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Lyon rubbish reports they have contacted Laurent Blanc

Laurent Blanc

Paris, April 8: Lyon have denied a French newspaper report that they have approached Laurent Blanc to replace under-pressure coach Bruno Genesio.

President Jean-Michel Aulas last week revealed that the club will not offer Genesio a contract extension before the end of the season, having been prepared to give him a two-year deal had the club reached the final of the Coupe de France.

However, Lyon were beaten 2-3 by Rennes at home in a thrilling semifinal, meaning Genesio did not meet the requirements for an extension, which were a place in the Stade de France showpiece and a top-three spot in Ligue 1.

Lyon are in third, six points clear of their nearest challengers and rivals Saint-Etienne in the race for UEFA Champions League football.

French newspaper L'Equipe suggested that Lyon had contacted Blanc – who has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in 2016 – with a view to him taking over ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, but the club released a statement on Monday strenuously denying the claims.

A statement published on their website read: "Lyon outright deny having contacted Laurent Blanc, or any other coach, contrary to what L'Equipe claims.

"The entire club is focused on the end of the season with the single goal of putting Bruno Genesio and his players in the best condition to qualify for the Champions League.

"It is unfortunate that a club that played in this season's last 16 of the Champions League, the semi-finals of the Coupe de France and is in the race for qualification for the most important sporting competition is confronted with the dissemination of false information that can only destabilise it."

Lyon's next game is away to Nantes in Ligue 1 on Friday.

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Story first published: Monday, April 8, 2019, 16:40 [IST]
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