Renard quits as Cote d’Ivoire manager, eyes Lille coaching post

The 46-year-old manager has been rumored with a move to Ligue 1 club Lille after helping Côte d’Ivoire capture the African Cup of Nations title earlier this year.  


ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire — 

Herve Renard quit as Côte d’Ivoire coach on Friday, three months after delivering a long-awaited African Cup of Nations title.

Renard is expected to take charge of French top-flight club Lille.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Football Federation said it had agreed to end the 46-year-old Frenchman’s contract early. Renard has been linked with the head coach role at Lille with current boss Rene Girard due to leave at the end of the season.

Renard was appointed Côte d’Ivoire coach in July last year and ended the West African nation’s long title drought by winning the African Cup in Equatorial Guinea in February, beating Ghana in a penalty shootout. It was Côte d’Ivoire’s second continental title and first in 23 years. The victory was also Renard’s second Cup of Nations success as a coach after leading Zambia to victory over Côte d’Ivoire in the 2012 final.

The victory with Côte d’Ivoire in Equatorial Guinea made him the first coach to win the African title with two different countries.

In a statement released by the Ivorian federation, Renard said he was looking to take his career in a ”new direction.”

Renard has coached in the French league before, when he was briefly in charge of Sochaux from 2013-14 but couldn’t save it from being relegated from Ligue 1. The Ivorian federation said Renard was expected to join Lille.

Renard’s regular assistant coach, Patrice Beaumelle, was also leaving Côte d’Ivoireand was expected to join Renard at Lille, the Ivorian federation said.