Will Kylian Mbappe be the new France captain? Didier Deschamps confirms PSG star is in frame to replace Hugo Lloris
- Mbappe in the running for France armband
- Lloris retired in January
- Deschamps rules out multiple players for captaincy
WHAT HAPPENED? Former skipper Lloris announced his retirement from international football in January, leaving France without a captain. Manchester United's Raphael Varane was initially tipped to replace Lloris, but he also called time on his Les Bleus career the following month, leaving Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe as the clear favourite for the armband. Deschamps has confirmed Mbappe is a captaincy candidate ahead of the start of France's Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, but he will speak to the striker directly before making a final decision.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "Kylian is one of them, but I will have discussions with them before I make my decision. Afterwards, if we fit the criteria, they can be similar too. But obviously, there is a responsibility in being captain, with greater obligations. But I prefer to discuss it internally before making my decision," the France boss said at a press conference.
Deschamps did make one decision, however, appearing to rule out Juventus playmaker Adrien Rabiot.
"Even if he has a certain experience, even if he has a form of leadership, I don't know if he really wants to be captain because of his nature. Let him stay as he is, as he is with us and Juventus, very efficient. That will be very good," he said.
The manager also rubbished the idea of having multiple players for the captaincy.
"Several players for the captaincy? It would be better if the one who is in charge is not absent," he added. "I'm not going to go on that, even if it was done at a certain period. I prefer to have a responsibility with a well-defined choice."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mbappe has already taken on some leadership responsibilities at PSG, and was recently named vice-captain by Christophe Galtier. The 24-year-old has won 66 caps for his country already, and helped them to World Cup glory in 2018 before almost repeating the trick at Qatar 2022. Mbappe scored eight goals during France's run to the final, including a hat-trick in the showpiece against Argentina - who ultimately won the trophy after a dramatic penalty shootout.
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WHAT NEXT? Deschamps could name a new permanent captain before France take on the Netherlands in their opening Euro 2024 qualifying fixture on March 24. Les Bleus are due to face the Republic of Ireland three days later at Aviva Stadium.