Gourcuff unveils Rennes plan
Newly appointed Stade Rennais FC boss Christian Gourcuff has spoken of his plans to trim down the squad and start getting results with a view to eventual European qualification.
Now in his second stint at the Brittany club, Gourcuff, 61, was presented to the press on Wednesday and spoke of his plans to shake things up and get the club, one of France's perennial under-achievers, moving on up.
"In terms of the distribution of duties, everything is in place," said the legendary Lorient coach, who left his job as the Algeria national team coach to take over from interim boss Rolland Courbis. "With the quality people we have here at the club, I'm very pleased. We want to make our mark. Having ambitions of European football is not out of the question but first we need to do the hard work and then we'll see. Bretons aren't about talk; we're about humility, work and authenticity. We'll prove that we can walk the walk before we start talking the talk."
While the organisation of the staff is in hand, Gourcuff made it clear that he is also looking to make changes to the squad, with Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff), Arnold Mvuemba (Lyon) and Nicolas De Préville (Reims) rumoured to be among the top priorities.
"Recruitment depends on economic aspects that have nothing to do with me, but we have a squad that is too big right now. We need to decide what our priorities are and do some high-quality and very targeted recruitment (Ousmane Dembélé has been transferred to Borussia Dortmund)," said the new coach of the club that houses France's most renowned youth academy. "The ideal would be to have 23-24 players, with a kernel of 16-18 senior players complemented by youngsters, who can develop and grow into their respective roles."
Gourcuff's son, Yoann, is currently out of contract with the Brittany club but could sign a new deal in the weeks to come - something to which Gourcuff senior is not opposed.
"You would have to ask him whether he wants to work with his father," said Christian, who has never coached his son in a senior team before. "I haven't come to Rennes to coach Yoann but it will be a challenge, if he re-signs, to help him rediscover his best form. I'm not opposed to it. We know the dangers of that kind of situation and we can handle them. Obviously he needs to rack up some game time and training time, but I think Stade Rennais have handled his case very well."