Puel long-term Lyon future in doubt

PARIS - Brief news from France's Ligue 1 ahead of the weekend games.

Claude Puel's long-term future as coach of Olympique Lyon was thrown into further doubt on Friday by the man himself and club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

The coach, whose side visit leaders Lille on Sunday, has a deal which runs out next year but told reporters: "At the end of the season I could possibly decide to stop and look elsewhere. I won't make any more comments on the subject."

Asked by monthly magazine Lyon Capitale whether Puel was correct to state that a contract extension may not be offered, Aulas said: "Today we have certain issues that are difficult. In the present circumstances he is right to say it."

Mid-table Girondins Bordeaux start life without assistant coach Michel Pavon at home to Auxerre on Saturday.

"Pavon has ceased his collaboration with Jean Tigana," Bordeaux director general Alain Deveseleer told reporters without giving details.

The 2009 champions have suffered a series of poor results to leave coach Tigana under pressure.

Stade Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti, whose second-placed side can go top for a day at least if they win at home to second-bottom Racing Lens on Saturday, has hailed quiet defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine.

"He is a very good player. He has worked very hard in the last year and now he is being rewarded," the coach told reporters.

"He is a good example for all the young players who make it. Sometimes they are impatient to play, above all their agents are impatient for them, but impatience is sometimes a bad thing. "KTC" never says a word but he is there."

Paris Saint-Germain coach Antoine Kombouare is happy with his team's form despite their failure to score in Thursday's 0-0 Europa League draw with BATE Borisov which put the French club through to the last sixteen.

"We saw a good PSG against a Borisov side who were difficult to break down. I really liked the behaviour of the team," he told reporters ahead of Sunday's home match with Toulouse.

Olympique Marseille forward Mathieu Valbuena, who has made a quick recovery from a knee problem, could start Sunday's match at AS Nancy, having made his return as a substitute in Wednesday's 0-0 Champions League draw with Manchester United.

Strugglers Nice will be without defender Gregory Paisley because of a thigh problem for Saturday's trip to St Etienne.