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Monday 5 December 2016

Blanc slams Aurier for insulting club

Laurent Blanc. Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Laurent Blanc. Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Laurent Blanc chastised suspended Serge Aurier for the disparaging remarks he made about his head coach and PSG team-mates ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash with Chelsea.

The right-back has apologised after a live question-and-answer session on Periscope came to light in which he insulted Blanc (

Aurier was on Sunday suspended for the last-16 first leg at Parc des Princes and faces further disciplinary action.

PSG told the media Blanc would answer only one question on Aurier at yesterday’s pre-match media conference, but the former France boss returned to the subject time and again.

“How did I react? Very badly,” Blanc said. “This is a democracy, we are free to think what we think, we can have our own opinions.

“But that guy ... two years ago I committed myself to make him come to Paris and I think what I saw yesterday that’s all the thank you I got. I think that’s pitiful.

A visibly irritated Blanc added: “He’s a boy that should be preparing today for a last-16 game of the Champions League. That would’ve been better instead of staying at home.

“The player is a big boy, he can do what he wants, but he’s penalising the club through the image he gives and what he said.”

Blanc promised to address Aurier directly, not through the media.

“If he’s got a problem with me, I won’t use you journalists to handle the problem. That’s for sure,” Blanc added.

Blanc denied the outburst had impacted preparations for another meeting with Chelsea with the clubs being drawn together for a third successive season.

“We would like to have prepared with a little bit more calm. One player won’t play, but for the rest the preparation is the same as usual.”

Blanc also dismissed suggestions the incident would not have happened at a more established club, like Manchester United or Barcelona, two sides he played for during his career.

“I don’t think any club is immune from those things, especially with social media,” Blanc added.

Aurier’s place at right-back will be taken by Dutchman Gregory van der Wiel or Brazilian Marquinhos, reportedly a Chelsea target.

PSG were beaten by Chelsea at the quarter-final stage in 2014 on away goals, but won by the same method 12 months ago.

With a 24-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, Blanc knows the success of his club’s season will be determined by their progress in Europe.

“We’ll be playing at a level we’re not used to seeing in our national league,” Blanc added.

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