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Jul 9, 2013

Blanc cools talk of Menez exit

Laurent Blanc has insisted Jeremy Menez will not be leaving Paris Saint-Germain for Monaco, explaining the France international's visit to the principality on Monday was purely to help resolve a long-standing injury.

Jeremy Menez has become frustrated by a lack of playing time at PSG
Menez was hampered by a back problem at the end of last season.

Menez, 26, left PSG's pre-season training camp in Austria to jet back to France and then Monaco for treatment for the lower back pain which marred his end to the Ligue 1 season and forced him to miss France's summer tour of South America.

With just a year left on his contract at the Parc des Princes, there has been speculation in the French media that Menez could leave the Ligue 1 champions with Monaco, where he played between 2006 and 2008 and where his brother and closest advisor lives, a likely destination.

Having explained during a press conference in Austria that "Jeremy Menez's injury isn't evolving in a good way", Blanc told beIN Sport there was no ulterior motive behind his player's visit to the principality on Monday.

He said: "It's certain that things can be extrapolated. The presence of Menez in Monaco allows people to say all sorts of things. But I know that he was in Monaco to undergo medical tests and only for that reason."

With Lucas, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore all challenging Menez for one of the likely two places available in Blanc's line-up next season, the France international could find himself spending more time on the bench than on the pitch.

Former PSG boss Gerard Houllier told Le Parisien, however, Blanc will need a full arsenal of attacking talents if he is to keep the club's fickle fans and his Qatari bosses happy by allying style with success.

"Paris Saint-Germain cannot just win any old how. PSG must win and entertain. That's indispensable. Not necessarily in every game, of course, but as often as possible. In France, we don't like that idea too much. We perhaps think only the result counts," the ex-Liverpool manager, who is now head of global soccer for Red Bull, said.

"Top-level football is in competition with other sports, other audio-visual spectacles and other leisure pursuits. If a team serves up boring football, it'll end up turning away its own fans. Before, that wasn't the case."

With Edinson Cavani poised to join PSG's already impressive cast, there should be no shortage of entertainment for those who flock to the Parc des Princes.

Houllier, however, hinted the arrival of the Uruguayan, who is reportedly set to complete an estimated €63 million switch from Napoli later on Tuesday, could pose a problem for Blanc as it may bruise the ego of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, last season's French top-flight leading scorer.

"When he wants to play, he's the best in the world," Houllier said. "He's a great player. When you have a player like him in the team, it's a good thing. When you have two on the other hand...."

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