Marseille have announced that Didier Deschamps has left the club, with the news likely to make him outright favourite to replace Laurent Blanc as the France coach.
Ligue 1 club Marseille said Deschamps had left by mutual agreement and, in a statement, revealed that the decision had come after uncertainty over his position earlier in the summer. The news followed reports that the 43-year-old had told officials he wanted to leave Marseille, where he had been in charge for three years and served as captain during his playing career.
The Marseille statement said: "Didier Deschamps was received on May 23 by club officials to prepare for the 2012-2013 season. "Didier Deschamps stated his desire to leave, and the terms of his departure were considered. In the days that followed, Didier Deschamps repeatedly confirmed that he was and remained the coach.
"Olympique de Marseille and Didier Deschamps have finally decided, by mutual agreement, not to continue working together for the 2012-2013 season."
The club thanked Deschamps for his work and wished him good luck in the future, adding: "Didier Deschamps thanks Olympique de Marseille for their support throughout these last three seasons."
Deschamps led Marseille to the Ligue 1 title as well as the Coupe de la Ligue in 2009-10, his first season in charge. They were league runners-up the following year, and retained the cup.
However, the former Monaco manager and his side suffered a disappointing season last time around, enduring a run of 14 games without a win as they ended up in tenth place.
Blanc left his position as France coach on Saturday, opting not to remain after the disappointing quarter-final defeat against Spain, which followed reports of infighting in the France camp and was the prelude to a public spat between Samir Nasri and journalists.
Fabrizio Ravanelli, who played for OM for two years from 1998, has put his name forward as a potential replacement for Deschamps.
The 43-year-old, currently working as reserve team coach at Juventus, told Le Parisien: "I have had no official contact with the club but, yes, I am dreaming of the challenge of OM."
He has not yet taken charge of a senior team but said: "We must start somewhere in life! Laurent Blanc started one day with Bordeaux, Monaco Deschamps, Di Matteo Chelsea, Montella at Roma... I really hope they give me my chance."