France boss Laurent Blanc: Contract controversy not an issue for players

The World Cup winner's current deal with the French Football Federation (FFF) expires in the summer and it has been made clear that he will not be offered a new one before then
Laurent Blanc insists that the current uncertainty surrounding his future as France coach will not adversely affect his preparations for Euro 2012.

The former Bordeaux boss has brought stability to the national side since taking charge after its tumultuous 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa, but the French Football Federation (FFF) intends to wait until after this summer's tournament in Poland and Ukraine before deciding whether to offer Blanc a new contract.

It was put to the World Cup winner during his team announcement for next week's friendly with Germany that the situation could affect his players' focus, but the 46-year-old insists otherwise.

"Why would it disrupt my players? The best thing for everyone is to have a good Euro [campaign]," Blanc is quoted as saying by L'Equipe. "They do not care about anything else. Anyway, in August, there will be a good coach [no matter what]."

Meanwhile, Blanc revealed that Barcelona left back Eric Abidal, AC Milan center-half Philippe Mexes and Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are all in the running to skipper Les Bleus against the Germans.

"These are the three players who have more responsibilities than others," he explained. "As for the hierarchy, you'll see next Wednesday who is wearing the armband. The three players already know. Eric Abidal had recently said he was not too hot on wearing the armband, but he has been reheated.

"I got on the phone to discuss it with him. He feels better about it now. With his status, his experience, his work in Barcelona and even what he went through with his personal health concerns, he seems right in that role. I just had to convince him."

"Mexes has some pain after his [knee] operation [last year] but he also makes sense. I ate with him last week after his good game against Arsenal. He is very motivated to lead Les Bleus."

Blanc has already sprung a surprise by including Louis Saha in his squad and the former sweeper is looking forward to seeing how the Tottenham Hotspur striker fares in Bremen.

"I like him," Blanc admitted. "This is a good footballer who is unfortunately often injured. But he is in great shape. I hope he makes the most of his new start in his new club. In any case, he can play both roles for us up front: alone or accompanied."

France has been drawn in the same group as England, Ukraine and Sweden for Euro 2012.

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