Football: PSG name Unai Emery as new coach to replace Laurent Blanc

PARIS (AFP) - French Ligue 1 football team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on Tuesday named Spaniard Unai Emery as their new coach on a two-year contract.

Emery, 44, takes over from Laurent Blanc, who left his role with the Qatari-backed French giants on Monday, and his contract includes an option for an additional season.

Emery had terminated his contract with Sevilla earlier this month, having guided the Spanish side to three successive Europa League titles.

"It is with great pride that I agreed to become the Paris Saint-Germain coach," said Emery.

"The club has become one of the biggest in Europe over the past few seasons and I am both happy and honoured to be able to help realise its great ambitions. I am eager to meet up with my new players as well as the people who work tirelessly every day to help the club grow.

"I know that an immense fervour exists around the Paris Saint-Germain and I will be giving my best to ensure its millions of fans have a great deal to cheer about."

Qatari club owner Nasser al-Khelaifi added: "I am very happy to welcome Unai Emery as the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain.

"Unai will bring to the Club all his experience, his passion and his strong management skills and human qualities. He has a proven talent to get the most out of a team. I am convinced that our fans will love the spectacular style of football our team will play with Unai."

Emery, a former Real Sociedad midfielder, became a coach in 2004 and was in charge of Valencia from 2008-12 before taking over at Sevilla in 2013 and leading the Andalusian club to three successive Europa League titles.

PSG confirmed that Emery would "play an active role in the club's player recruitment that will launch a new ambitious cycle for Paris Saint-Germain, five years after the arrival of Qatar Sports Investments".

Former France coach and World Cup winner Blanc, 50, left Monday after three seasons in charge on a reported payoff of €22 million (S$33 million).

Blanc arrived at PSG in 2013 and won the domestic treble in each of his last two seasons with the club. But it was his failure to make substantial progress in the Champions League that proved his undoing.