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Rennes-bound Montanier focus on Real

Philippe Montanier is refusing to look ahead to his new challenge at Rennes until he has safely seen Real Sociedad into the Champions League.

The Liga club announced on Tuesday that the 48-year-old coach was leaving San Sebastian after rejecting the offer of a one-year contract extension beyond the current season, and instead opting for a three-year deal in Brittany.

However, the ex-Valenciennes boss will only take charge at the Stade de la Route de Lorient from July 1, and told L'Equipe he would retain his focus on his current job as fourth-placed Sociedad still have two games left to secure their place in European football's premier club competition.

"I won't say anything, because I want to concentrate on the next two matches, which could make this one of Real's most beautiful seasons," said the Normandy-born tactician, whose side are level on points with fifth-placed Valencia ahead of this weekend's home encounter with Real Madrid and their final-day trip to Deportivo La Coruna.

While Montanier is certain to be at Rennes next season, the same cannot be said of club manager Pierre Dreossi, 53. The former Lille, Paris Saint-Germain and Cannes defender has been at the Breton club for 11 years, even guiding the club to a fourth-placed finish as coach during the 2006/07 season.

However, L'Equipe reported members of the entourage of club owner, French billionaire Francois Pinault, 76, and a number of the team's hard-core support are increasingly unhappy with Dreossi's work.

Sociedad captain Xabi Prieto said he is putting aside thoughts of Montanier leaving to concentrate on Sunday's home game against Real Madrid, from which a win would keep the club in fourth place.

"The boss has told us that he will not continue, but he has reminded us that the most important thing is Real Madrid," he said. "All the players respect his decision and we are just thinking about Madrid, Madrid and Madrid. The whole team knows how much is at stake.

"I can assure you that all this will not distract the team. If we do not achieve our objective of the Champions League, it will not be because of all this that has happened with the coach.

"It is always a pity when a coach leaves, who has lived with us for two years, more than about the results. You have a good relationship with him. The boss always has a lot to do with the collective and individual progress made."

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