Didier Deschamps has poured cold water on the prospect of Karim Benzema securing a France recall.
Benzema has been in France exile since November 2015, when he won the last of his 81 France caps, with coach Deschamps not prepared to pick him while he is facing trial over his alleged involvement in an attempted blackmail plot of former Les Bleus midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.
Real Madrid forward Benzema has denied any wrongdoing, and his France status was thrust back into the spotlight earlier this month when a candidate for the presidency, Michel Moulin, said he would make it a priority to get the 33-year-old back in the fold.
Such comments have not sat well with Deschamps. In an interview with Le Figaro, the Bleus coach questioned the seriousness of Moulin’s statements and urged him to take on the role as manager of the national team if he wants to influence selection policy.
“Frankly it’s not serious,” Deschamps said. “There are those who like to make a buzz.
“I read his (Moulin) statements in your newspaper and I will answer him, even if I know that by doing so I feed the media machine.
“This gentleman should have applied for the post of coach. As he apparently has his diplomas, he may have a chance to replace me.”
Reiterating his stance that he has turned the page on Benzema for the correct reasons, and that the national team is flourishing in his absence, Deschamps added: “I always take my decisions in my soul and conscience, for the good of the France team.
“Look at our attacking plan. Rarely, perhaps never even, an attack has shown such effectiveness as the one which is currently playing. That is factual even if few speak about it.”
While the appointment of Moulin could shake things up, Deschamps is in favour of Noel Le Graet taking the top job in French football.
“It would be a very good thing,” Deschamps said of the prospect of Le Graet being appointed FFF president. “I will not say for me, because it would be selfish of me, but for French football.”