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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Perrin turns down chance to be boss at Nantes

Nantes' search for a new coach will become more discreet following Alain Perrin's decision to reject the chance to replace Michel Der Zakarian in the hotseat.

Perrin had emerged as the number one candidate to take over from Der Zakarian, who parted company with the club on Tuesday after their poor start to the new Ligue 1 campaign.

But after mulling over an approach by Nantes president Waldemar Kita, the former Lyon coach on Wednesday turned down the chance to return to the dug-out.

Kita openly admitted he held talks with Perrin on Monday, but he may not be so overt in his dealings over the next few days as a new coach is sought.

'The fact that all these exchanges are in the public domain is not helping us and harms our attempts to find a solution to this affair,' Nantes director general Pascal Praud said.

'The more the dossier remains confidential, the more likely it will come to a successful conclusion.

'So, for the moment, Christian Lariepe is the coach, assisted by Vincent Rautureau, until we find a new coaching team.'

The likes of Elie Baup, who left Toulouse at the end of last season, and former France coach Jacques Santini are now being linked with the vacant post following Perrin's rejection.

'We indicated yesterday (Tuesday) that contacts had been struck up with Alain Perrin,' Praud said.

'However, we have not come to an agreement.'

It remains to be seen what Perrin's reasons were for rejecting Nantes.

He was dismissed by Les Gones at the end of last season, even though he guided them to the league-and-cup double - the first in the club's history - in his one and only year in charge.

He had previously been in charge of French clubs Sochaux, Marseille and Troyes, as well as English side Portsmouth and United Arab Emirates outfit Al-Ain.

After holding talks with Kita on Monday night, Les Canaris demanded the 52-year-old return with a definite response by the end of the week.

And they would have been confident Perrin was going to come back with a positive reply.

In the meantime, Lariepe and Rautureau will remain as interim bosses of Les Canaris' first team, and will be in charge for Saturday's home clash against Le Mans.

There is a fortnight break for international fixtures after that match, and in that time Kita will hope to have a new coach installed.

Nantes lie second from bottom in the embryonic Ligue 1 table after three matches.

They have lost both their away games - against Auxerre and Bordeaux - and drew 1-1 against Monaco in their only home match.


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