Deschamps is named France coach
DIDIER DESCHAMPS has reached an agreement to be the new France coach, the French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed last night.
Deschamps replaces Laurent Blanc, who stepped down from the helm of Les Bleus last week following the fall-out of their Euro 2012 quarter-final exit to eventual winners Spain.
A statement on www.fff.frlast night read: “Noel Le Graet, FFF president, and Didier Deschamps have finished their talks and have reached an agreement for the appointment of Mr Deschamps as coach of the France team.”
Meanwhile, Jan Vertonghen is confident he can make an immediate impact in the Premier League after agreeing terms to join Tottenham yesterday. The Ajax skipper will undergo a medical this week before completing his protracted move from the Dutch champions.
Spurs had been tracking the Belgium defender since last season during which he won the Eredivisie player-of-the-season award as Ajax claimed back-to-back league titles.
Vertonghen’s move had, however, been delayed amid reported interest from Arsenal while Spurs also changed managers with Andre Villas-Boas last week appointed to replace Harry Redknapp. Redknapp was reportedly a keen admirer of the 25-year-old who, after proving his class in Holland, is determined to make the step up in the Premier League.
“I am very relieved,” he told Sky Sports News. “It went on for a long time, but I’m glad I’m a Tottenham player right now and I’m looking forward to playing for the club.
“I am 25 years old now and I feel ready to play in the Premier League. I have heard a lot of good stories from my Belgium team-mates. I think I’m ready.
“I heard that Harry Redknapp really wanted me to play for Tottenham, but now it’s Andre Villas-Boas. To me, that doesn’t matter. I just want to play for the club and I hope I can please the fans at the club.”
Vertonghen will bolster a Spurs central defence that has been weakened over the summer following the departures of long-serving former captain Ledley King and Ryan Nelsen.
He is the second signing of Villas-Boas’ short tenure so far after Gylfi Sigurdsson agreed a move to White Hart Lane last week.
Those signings have offered hope that Spurs can at least maintain, if not improve, on their fourth placing in the Premier League last term. But perhaps even more important on new man Villas-Boas list of priorities will be retaining his already-established star names.
Star winger Gareth Bale pledged his future to the club last month after signing a long-term deal, but Luka Modric’s future remains in some doubt for a second successive summer.
Team GB captain Ryan Giggs believes he may soon be adding an Olympic gold medal to his long list of honours. The 38-year-old Manchester United veteran was yesterday named as skipper of the 18-man Olympic squad by manager Stuart Pearce.
“We hope we can get gold. That is what the players are hoping for,” said Giggs.