Didier Deschamps' chances of succeeding Laurent Blanc as France coach increased immeasurably on Monday as it was confirmed he would be quitting his position as coach of Marseille.
The 43-year-old -- who captained France to the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 titles -- had asked Marseille to be released from his post on May 23, though he still had two years left on his contract.
His initial request to leave had nothing to do with the France post as Blanc was in charge and France were considered live candidates for the Euro 2012 title -- however they bowed out in the quarter-finals and Blanc announced on Saturday he would not accept a new contract.
Deschamps quickly became the bookies favourite to take over Les Bleus.
"Olympique Marseille and Didier Deschamps have finally reached a common agreement not to pursue their relationship for the 2012/13 season," read a statement from the club.
"Didier Deschamps met with the directors of the club on May 23 to prepare for next season. Mr Didier Deschamps made it known at that meeting that he wished to leave OM, both parties then entered discussions over the conditions of his departure.
"Olympique Marseille would like to thank Didier Deschamps for the work he has achieved here in the three years and wishes him well in the future."
Deschamps, who has been approached through an intermediary, his Marseille assistant Guy Stephan, by French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet over succeeding Blanc, won six trophies in his spell with his former club, whom he had captained to the 1993 European Cup title.
Deschamps, who guided Monaco to a surprise appearance in the 2004 Champions League final, landed Marseille's first Ligue 1 title since 1992 in 2010.
However, he experienced a difficult season last term where they finished 10th and his relationship with the infuential sporting director Jose Anigo took a turn for the worse.
Anigo will now supervise, as he has done several times in the past, the return to training of the squad while Deschamps' replacement will be announced in the coming days according to the club.
However, that man will not be Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti, who has confirmed that he has been approached by the southern giants, but insists he has no intention of leaving his current role.
"I have indeed been approached by OM. I am very proud and honoured that a big club like OM might want my services, but it is impossible for me to imagine quitting Rennes at this moment in time," Antonetti was quoted as saying on Rennes' official website.
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