Champions League

Blanc confident of Champions League progress

Laurent Blanc acknowledges Paris Saint-Germain’s growing status in the world game must be backed up with a strong performance in the Champions League.

The Ligue 1 title holders are the dominant force in French football and, having completed a clean sweep on the domestic front last term, sit 19 points clear at the summit at the halfway stage this time around.

PSG, who face Inter in a friendly in Doha on Wednesday, take on underperforming Premier League side Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League and Blanc says they must at least reach the semi-finals.

“A season is judged on every trophy there is to win,” he said. “In France last year we had a perfect season, but quite rightly the expectation for a club of our size is to have a big performance in the Champions League.

“To be good in the Champions League, you have to be good in the league. It’s easy to say we need to qualify for the semi-finals, but harder to achieve.

“I believe my players are ready to reach that goal this year, however.”

Blanc concedes that he is not looking forward to the January transfer window, even if he expects little movement in either direction at the Parc des Princes.

“I know of some interest in some of my players, but there is nobody out of contract in January,” the 50-year-old added.

“There are some who might leave, you know the names. We will discuss with them at that time. The winter transfer window for me is not a good thing and I don’t think much will happen.”

PSG return to competitive action with a trip to fourth-tier Wasquehal in the Coupe de France on January 3.

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