Blanc open to succeeding Sir Alex

PARIS - France coach Laurent Blanc could be interested in a return to Old Trafford as a successor to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the former French international told Reuters on Tuesday.

Blanc, 44, who finished his career as a central defender at Manchester United, said in an interview that Ferguson should pick his own successor.

"Sir Alex is the cornerstone of Manchester United. He personifies Manchester's project, he's got this passion," Blanc said.

"It would be a very interesting, although a very tough challenge but maybe interesting if he is the one starting it (his replacement's process). With me or someone else but I could be interested."

"Nobody should take it from him. It would be very sad for Manchester but it would be even sadder for him."

Blanc, who will be in charge of France at Wembley for next week's friendly against England, added: "It would please me a lot. But it would be tough to find a successor to Sir Alex. He has done it for 24 years and it will not be easy."

Blanc's immediate task is to ressurect the national team's fortunes after their abject performances at this year's World Cup under the guidance of Raymond Domenech.

"For now, I am not in that (United) project. I have another challenge," he said.