Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc is 25/1 eighth-favourite in bwin’s next permanent Manchester United manager betting and the Frenchman can claim to be one of the continents’ most underrated coaches.
He’s a dab hand at denting the Champions League’s latter stages, with six French domestic trophies to his name, yet the former World Cup-winning centre-half is seldom afforded a place in the pantheon when it comes to parlour discussions of the game’s leading gaffers.
Long before he was given the keys to the PSG treasure chest Blanc earned his managerial stripes at Bordeaux, where he steered Les Girondins to second-place in his first season.
It was a marked improvement on the preceding 2006/07 campaign, in which the Aquitaine club finished sixth under previous boss Ricardo.
However, he was able to go one better the next season, landing the Championnat and earning a place in the Champions League the following season.
Far from getting found out at Europe’s top table, Blanc’s Bordeaux excelled, topping their group ahead of Juventus and Bayern Munchen on a run to the quarter finals.
After leaving Bordeaux, the manager who won the league with United as a player in 2002/03 took the reins of his national side, a fearsome task with the team in disarray after the 2010 World Cup.
Once more his introduction affected near-immediate improvement, with Les Bleus topping their qualification group for Euro 2012 and besting England, Brazil and Germany in friendlies en route to the tournament.
A respectable quarter-final exit to Spain ended a controversy-free tournament after which he stepped down, next finding employment as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor at PSG.
Big fish in a small pond they may be, but Blanc’s side have calmly shrugged off their fellow minted Ligue 1 arrivistes Monaco to lead the table by ten points with four games remaing.
Adapting to the greater pressures of working under super-rich bankrollers seems to not to have phased him.
Neither have the challenges of managing the egos of a squad full of internationals – he’s even managed to avoid falling out with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.