PSG have looked and looked and they have found a new manager for the French team via Twitter. @PSG_inside "Paris Saint-Germain is delighted to announce the appointment of Laurent Blanc as coach for the next two years." Real Madrid have also confirmed via Twitter that they have signed Ancelotti for three years. Real Madrid C.F @realmadriden "Carlo Ancelotti has signed his contract with Real Madrid."
Carlo Ancelotti was finally confirmed as coach of Real Madrid on Tuesday and the former Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, and AC Milan boss will now set about building his team at the Santiago Bernabeu for the 2013-14 season. The Italian, however, is not a man for revolutions.
Ancelotti has used a number of different systems throughout his career as coach, including 4-4-2 at Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, 4-3-2-1 at AC Milan and even a three-man defence at Juventus. More than a favoured formation, though, Ancelotti adapts adeptly to his surroundings and the players at his disposal like few other coaches and the Italian seems unlikely to alter Madrid's 4-2-3-1.
In the long term, he may have other ideas but Madrid's squad is clearly confectioned to play with the system preferred by his predecessor, Jose Mourinho. Ancelotti will realise that and, although he will introduce a number of tactical variants, the new boss is set to stick with 4-2-3-1 - at least to begin with.
Gonzalo Higuain's imminent departure means that the Italian will be left with only one recognised centre forward in Karim Benzema, although Alvaro Morata moves up from Real Madrid Castilla and the Spanish side continue to track both Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. Both, however, are seen as overpriced by president Florentino Perez and that could mean that no new striker comes in this summer, with the club focusing their attentions on one major target: Gareth Bale.
The Tottenham winger would come at a significant price, too, but Florentino is willing to pay big money for a player who can raise cash through merchandising, shirt sales and image rights. "Great players pay for themselves," Perez said this week. "Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham gave us a massive boost in income. If you invest in great players, you will have more income."
Bale, even at £70 million and above, falls into that category. Cavani, at €63m (£57.5m), does not, meaning that Ancelotti may miss out on the striker whom he also wanted to bring in at Chelsea.
One player definitely arriving is Isco, with the Malaga man set to dispute the playmaker position with Mesut Ozil as Kaka, so successful under Ancelotti at AC Milan, seems surplus to requirements. Isco could also start as an attacking midfielder or even on the right with Bale inside. And if the Welshman does not arrive this summer, both Isco and Ozil should start in the Italian's side next term.
Last Tuesday it was Andre Villas-Boas. The next day it was Fabio Capello and by Thursday it was Frank Rijkaard. On Friday, however, Paris Saint-Germain had moved on to Laurent Blanc who, four days later, was finally confirmed as the successor to new Real Madrid trainer Carlo Ancelotti.
The mystery of just who would be PSG’s new boss had previously seemed set to run until the squad returned to pre-season on July 1 and the manner of the mad scramble to appoint a new face threatens to undermine their domination of French football, particularly given Monaco’s transfer surge.
PSG have been wholly incapacitated by their inability to find their next coach and have yet to make any positive movement in the summer market.
Firstly there was the stout refusal to accept any approach from Real Madrid towards Carlo Ancelotti, who explicitly let his feelings be known from the outset that he wanted to depart for the Spanish capital.
But perhaps the principle issue has been QSI’s obsession over Arsene Wenger, a man shackled to Arsenal by a one-year deal that he has never hinted that he wanted to break.
PSG have been transfixed by the former Monaco boss, whose contract expires in little over 12 months. So, set upon on attaining Wenger, they forgot to look at the present.
The French club very publicly let it be known that the veteran Gunners coach was their No.1 aim, but their lust to sign him next season prevented clarity in the badly-delayed acquiring of Blanc.
Wenger, a man of great morals, has previously grumbled about ‘financially doped’ clubs, of which PSG certainly fall into that bracket now. There can be little guarantee he would be tempted by a return to France, particularly as Arsenal finally appear willing to become actors in the transfer market.
Regardless of whether or not the ex-Nancy and Monaco boss is attainable, he continues to loom large over their summer, even from London.
Blanc, a previous Ligue 1 winner as coach with Girondins de Bordeaux, will certainly feel the presence of Wenger as he takes charge of his new side. He may have been handed a potential two-year deal, but he will appreciate that his bosses may well have half an eye on developments at the Emirates Stadium.
Such speculation did not fall upon deaf ears elsewhere in the coaching world as a slew of leading candidates for the job rebuffed last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists. Prior to Villas-Boas, Capello and Rijkaard, there were rumours associating them with Jose Mourinho, Massimiliano Allegri, Guus Hiddink, Roberto Mancini and more.
One by one, PSG were shunned. Mourinho went back to Chelsea, Allegri signed a new dead with AC Milan, Hiddink decided to stay put in Kazan and Mancini was not seen as a convincing option by the board of the Parisians.
Blanc has taken the plunge, yet it is hardly a ringing endorsement of 'Le President' that he seems to have been halfway down PSG's inaptly named shortlist.
No matter how successful Blanc is, PSG’s summer shambles will not be easily overshadowed or forgotten. That the club have allowed such a situation to fester for almost a month after the close of the domestic season, by which time it was apparent that Ancelotti would be departing, should be considered unacceptable for a team of the stature that les Parisiens are trying to attain.