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Former France and Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc has revealed he turned down the opportunity to succeed Bruce Arena as United States boss.
He told Le Parisien (via French football writer Jonathan Johnson) that the key reason for rejecting the role was because he is not an American:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
Blanc on turning the USA down: “I was approached but to coach internationally, it was a no. Especially when it is not your own country. International coaching must touch your national fibre. Because of this, I turned it down.” #USMNT #PSG
The United States men’s national team have been without a head coach since Arena quit in October after failing to lead the side through qualifying for the the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Dave Sarachan took charge for a November friendly against Portugal, but it was made clear he only took on the role on an interim basis, per ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle.
Blanc, 52, has been out of a job since June 2016 when he left PSG after winning three Ligue 1 titles with the club.
He also led Bordeaux to Ligue 1 glory in 2008-09 before a two-year spell with the French national team, which ended in a quarter-final exit from UEFA Euro 2012.
Blanc has rarely performed spectacular feats in his managerial roles, with his PSG successes tempered by their financial superiority to the rest of the division.
He failed to lead PSG to a decent run in the UEFA Champions League.
However, he is an experienced manager who has taken on high-profile roles and dealt with huge pressure in the past.
It is not a big surprise that he was approached to succeed Arena, as whoever takes over the USMNT job will have great pressure on them to expunge the memory of their failure to qualify for next summer’s World Cup.
The Stars and Stripes are seemingly now going to have to look elsewhere after being turned down by Blanc.