sport

Blanc close to new PSG deal

Paris St Germain could retain their Ligue 1 title before their game kicks off on Wednesday night, and with it finally bring Laurent Blanc to the negotiating table to pen a new contract.

The champions-elect host Rennes boasting an eight-point lead over nearest challengers Monaco, and could be in possession of the silverware before stepping out at the Parc des Princes if the principality club fail to defeat Guingamp in the night's earlier kick-off.

Regardless of events at Stade Louis II, PSG will be going full throttle for another win that will see them set a new record for the most points in a Ligue 1 season, beating the 84 amassed by Lyon in 2006.

A record-breaking campaign is also poised for one final flourish with coach Blanc confirming again this week that he intends to commit his future to the club once the league title is in the bag.

"I will extend my contract once PSG are crowned champions. It is a principle of mine," he told a press conference on Wednesday.

Blanc will not be alone in committing his future to the club when he does finally sign, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ready to settle in Paris for the remainder of his playing days.

"I think so," the 32-year-old told RMC on Monday when asked if his career would end at PSG.

"I signed a one-year contract extension. If I'm still in form, and if my mentality remains strong, I'll be at the club for another two years. If the club still want me, and if France still wants me, then I'll be here.

"You won't get rid of me that easily."

Ibrahimovic has been out since suffering a muscle tear in the Champions League quarter-final first leg with Chelsea last month but could return to the fold on Wednesday.

"I'm feeling much better," he added. "I've done a lot of muscle work and I hope to be ready to go against Rennes."

Rennes travel to the capital seeking a boost to morale after slumping to a dispiriting 2-0 loss to Breton rivals Guingamp in the final of the Coupe de France at the weekend.

Philippe Montanier's men never got going in a contest that saw Rennes fail to end a trophy drought going back to 1971, and the coach said: "It was a huge disappointment - that is an understatement.

"When you play in a final you expect to produce a different performance. We lost but we also came away with the feeling that we didn't play to the level we are capable of.

"We were second-best in terms of commitment and we couldn't string three passes together."

Rennes' season could yet get even worse. They are just three points from the relegation zone after Sochaux's 2-0 win against Nice on Sunday, and without a win in their last four league games.

Sochaux are their next opponents following the PSG match, and Montanier believes it would be dangerous to dwell on the cup loss at such a critical stage of the campaign.

"We need to get over it quickly because we still have important games ahead of us," he said.