Ligue 1 news

Montpellier mention Maradona link-up

March 5, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has revealed he would love to appoint Diego Maradona as coach for next season, but acknowledged Raymond Domenech is a more likely candidate.

Diego's still got it
GettyImagesDiego Maradona: Currently without a managerial post

Nicollin, 69, announced last weekend the contract of Ligue 1 title-winning coach, Rene Girard, 58, would not be extended beyond the current campaign.

The identity of Girard's successor is yet to be determined, but Nicollin told RMC radio he already has a number of potential candidates in mind.

"To annoy PSG, I'd like to bring in Diego Maradona. If I get that guy, I wouldn't need to do anything. He's a film all by himself. With him, we'd be on the front page of every paper," Nicollin said.

"I've thought about it, but I don't see him coaching Montpellier. I don't have the means of the Qataris to bring him in."

Nicollin then more seriously extolled the merits of ex-France coach Domenech, 61, who took Les Bleus to the 2006 World Cup final, losing on penalties to Italy.

"He was really close to becoming world champion like Aime Jacquet. I wouldn't be unhappy with Domenech," added Nicollin, who will hold talks with long-time advisor Michel Mezy and son Laurent, who is in charge of the day-to-day running of club, on the matter.

"We're going to think about it. He has to agree as well. Montpellier isn't just any old club."

Domenech, who has worked in television since ending his controversial six-year tenure with the national team with a disastrous 2010 World Cup finals campaign, is not the only man in Nicollin's thinking.

Former Fulham boss Jean Tigana, 57, is out of work after the end of a short spell at Shanghai Shenhua last year, and is close to the Montpellier supremo.

"I would like to bring him in as he's my friend, but he gets lambasted from all sides even though it's not deserved. I don't know why, perhaps people are jealous," said Nicollin, who added that ex-Paris Saint-Germain coach Antoine Kombouare was in the running, but remained an outsider.

"I don't understand. I'm wondering whether I should get him to sign merely to piss them off. But I don't know whether he wants to get back into football.

"I struggle to see how I'd get along with him, but I'm not ruling it out. He's been proposed to me. I'm considering it."