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Mar 11, 2013

Montpellier end Maradona interest

Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has told L'Equipe that he will not be making any moves to appoint Diego Maradona as coach for next season after all, and says that the job is likely to go to a Frenchman.

Nicollin, 69, is looking for a successor to René Girard, the man who led the club to the Ligue 1 title last season but who will leave in the summer when his contract expires.

After initially claiming that he would love to hire the Argentine legend "to annoy PSG" it now appears that any chances of making a concrete move for Maradona, who is currently based in Dubai and is also reportedly a target for Swiss club Sion, have been scuppered by the number of agents supposedly acting on his behalf.

"No, he won't be coming," the outspoken Nicollin told L'Equipe. "It is impossible to negotiate with one agent. He has seven of them, and now an eighth is involved. It's unbearable!

"If I had wanted Cruyff, I would have seen a proper agent. With Maradona it's just a mess. I've had enough. Not of Maradona - I have quite a big collection of his shirts - but enough of this story. It's giving me a headache."

He added: "It would have been nice to see Maradona juggling the ball at (Montpellier's stadium) La Mosson. But to make him coach... And anyway I don't think it would have been possible because he is a bit greedy."

Nicollin had told TF1 show Telefoot on Sunday that he would be annoyed if anything were to come of his interest in Maradona because he has "already reached an agreement with someone else."

Speaking to L'Equipe, he hinted that the successor to Girard, who took over in 2009 and also took the club to the Coupe de a Ligue final in 2011 before leading them to a first-ever league title, will be a Frenchman.

"I'll take a French coach. That would be better," he said, with former Marseille and Auxerre coach Jean Fernandez, who recently left the Nancy post, among those being seriously linked to Montpellier.

Nicollin also admitted that former PSG boss Antoine Kombouare, another possible contender, is "a charming lad." However, he has dismissed suggestions that Raymond Domenech or former Montpellier defender Laurent Blanc could take the job.

"I won't ask him because I think he'll refuse to come," Nicollin said of Blanc.

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