Tottenham start talks with Laurent Blanc to succeed Harry Redknapp


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The Independent Football

Tottenham Hotspur have begun speaking to France manager Laurent Blanc as they start searching for a new manager to replace Harry Redknapp. Blanc, currently managing his country in Euro 2012, is thought to be one of a number of candidates for the vacant job at White Hart Lane.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been looking for a new manager since Redknapp left the role last week, after nearly four seasons at the club. While Everton's David Moyes and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez had been initial favourites for the role, Blanc and former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas are now the two likeliest candidates. If Blanc were to take the job, it would be a return to club football after two years with the French national side.

The 46-year-old has had only one club job before, but it was a firm success. In charge of Bordeaux from 2007 to 2010, he oversaw a second-placed finish in his first year and went on to win the French title – the club's first for 10 years – in 2008/09, as well as claiming the League Cup.

Success at Bordeaux led Blanc to the France job, he replaced Raymond Domenech after the dismal failure of the 2010 World Cup. Blanc revitalised the French side, bringing in players untainted by the controversy in South Africa. He led a successful qualification run to Euro 2012, as well as four points from France's first two group games. Les Bleus are unbeaten in their last 23 matches, and can progress to the quarter-finals when they play Sweden in Kiev tonight.

Managing Tottenham would mean a return to English football for Blanc, who ended his playing career with two seasons at Manchester United. He was part of the side that won the Premier League in 2002/03, capping a trophy-laden career at club and international level. He also played for, among others, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne, Barcelona, Marseilles and Internazionale. Blanc was probably most famous, though, for being part of the France team that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship.

Blanc's playing career contrasts strongly with the record of Andre Villas-Boas, who as a manager won the domestic double and the Europa League with Porto in 2010-11 despite only ever working in scouting and coaching. He never played professionally.

Meanwhile, across north London, Arsenal look set to confirm the signing of French striker Olivier Giroud from Montpellier. They are expected to pay a fee of £12m for the player who finished as top scorer in Ligue 1 last season with 21 goals.