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PSG coach Blanc's future in jeopardy

Football Soccer - Olympique Marseille v Paris St Germain - France Cup Final - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - 21/05/2016. Paris St Germain's coach Laurent Blanc sings anthem. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Football Soccer - Olympique Marseille v Paris St Germain - France Cup Final - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - 21/05/2016. Paris St Germain's coach Laurent Blanc sings anthem. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Coach Laurent Blanc's future at Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain looked in jeopardy on Friday when club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi described their season as a failure.

PSG achieved their second successive domestic treble by winning Ligue 1, the French Cup and the League Cup, but Champions League progress stagnated as they lost in the quarter-finals for the fourth successive season.

"Honestly, I think we failed this season despite winning domestic trophies," Al-Khelaifi, in charge since Qatar Sports Investments took over in 2011 and spent vast sums of money on new players, told daily Le Parisien.

"We did not reach our goal so this is a bad season. I have been here for five years and it is the first time that we have this feeling of failure."

Al-Khelaifi pin-pointed the Champions League defeat by Manchester City as his worst moment since he became president.

PSG had been favourites but lost 3-2 on aggregate.

"It's not just the fact that we lost in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, it's the way it happened," he said.

"I am very disappointed. I did not feel there was pressure before the City games. This elimination is the worst moment since I have been in Paris. Two hours before the return leg I knew we were going to lose. I did not feel the players were ready... Whose fault is this?"

Al-Khelaifi promised "big changes will come."

Asked if he still trusted Blanc, who took over from Carlo Ancelotti in 2013, Al-Khelaifi: "I have supported him for three years. Now we have to think about what we are going to do next season to build a group that will be stronger at European level.

"I will not discuss individual cases. Big changes will come, a new cycle will start."

With talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic gone, Al-Khelaifi hinted at a change in the club's recruitment policy.

"We're going to recruit players who will bring more to the team, he said. "At the beginning we needed players to develop our image. Now we need players who are ready to die for the club and for that shirt."

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Martyn Herman)

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