Stephan resigns as Rennes manager after dismal run

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Stade Rennes v AS Saint-Etienne - Roazhon Park, Rennes, France - February 14, 2021 Stade Rennes coach Julien Stephan REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

(Reuters) - Julien Stephan has resigned as Stade Rennais manager after a nine-year association with the club, the French top-flight side said in a statement on Monday.

Rennes are ninth in the Ligue 1 standings with 38 points from 26 games so far. Stephan's last game in charge was a 2-1 defeat by OGC Nice on Friday, which extended Rennes' winless run in the league to six matches.

"This morning, Stade Rennais FC took note of the resignation of its coach Julien Stephan," Rennes said on their website.

"The club would like to thank Julien for these nine years... and for all the exceptional results he obtained at the head of the professional team.

"The whole club wishes him the best for the rest of his career and thanks him again for his total involvement during all these years."

Stephan was named first-team manager in December 2018, having served as youth team coach for several years.

He led Rennes to their first trophy since 1971 when they beat Paris St Germain in the French Cup final in 2019 and also helped the club qualify for the Champions League for the first time after finishing third in the league last season.

His assistant Philippe Bizeul will take interim charge of the club, Rennes said.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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