Jean-Claude Dassier, the Marseille president, has revealed Liverpool have contacted him about Didier Deschamps, but he has told them they have no chance of tempting the Ligue 1-winning coach. Speculation has been rife over who will take charge at Anfield since Rafael Benitez left the club at the beginning of the month, with Kenny Dalglish, their former manager, and Roy Hodgson, the Fulham coach, among the candidates.
However, Dassier claims Deschamps is the man Liverpool want. "It's true, Liverpool's executive director, Christian Purslow, called me Thursday morning," the French club's chief told L'Equipe. "He speaks French very well, is very polite. I was expecting his call because I had heard of Liverpool's interest in Didier. He asked me if I would allow him to meet Didier and (agent) Jean-Pierre Bernes. "I replied that I would never forbid anyone from meeting whoever.
"I also kindly indicated to him that there wasn't the slightest chance for him to pinch our coach." Deschamps' contract runs out at the end of next season and he is yet to agree to an extension. However, Dassier is confident of keeping the former Marseille midfielder. "With Didier, we have a trusting relationship," he said. "I hope he will commit himself to us for another year. I'm not worried. It's true also that Didier is flattered to see a great European club interested in him."
Deschamps is regarded as one of Europe's best young managers and has had an impressive start to his career since taking over at Monaco in 2001. He steered the principality side to the Coupe de la Ligue title just two years after taking his first managerial post and led them to the Champions League final in 2004. He then helped Juventus to the Serie B title in his one season at the Bianconeri. Deschamps, 41, took charge at Marseille last summer and led them to their first Ligue 1 title in 18 years. * Agencies