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Herve Renard has left his Saudi Arabia post as head coach and is expected to take over the France women's national team. The 54-year-old helped the Green Falcons to shock eventual winners Argentina at the FIFA 2022 World Cup and oversaw their games against Venezuela and Bolivia before his departure was confirmed.

"The Saudi Arabian Football Federation Board of Directors has agreed on the contract termination of the Head Coach of the Saudi National team Mr Herve Renard upon his request," read an official statement. "A legal settlement has been reached to end the contract between the two parties. The President and Board of Directors of SAFF wish for Mr Renard every success in his future career."

Renard wanted to be in a position to name his French squad by the end of the month and has already lining up his staff ahead of the 2023 Women's World Cup. "I can say that Herve is in a good position," Olympique Lyonnais president and French Soccer Federation executive committee member Jean-Michel Aulas told RMC on the topic of Corinne Diacre's replacement last week. "I have him on the phone each day, but things are not settled just yet. The contact with Herve is very positive."

The former Morocco, Lille OSC, Ivory Coast, and FC Sochaux Montbeliard boss has established himself as something of an international specialist after his 2012 Africa Cup of nations success with Zambia. Renard followed up that surprise achievement with another AFCON title with the Ivorians and his latest feat was engineering an heroic 2-1 World Cup group stage win over Lionel Messi's Argentina.

The news bodes well for Les Bleues after a raft of players stepping back from international duty expedited Diacre's departure and Renard's specialist reputation will be a big boost. The French tactician is expected to bring Laurent Bonadei with him with Eric Blahic also in place and Aulas trusts Renard to make up ground lost in recent years.

"We must change our habits," added Aulas. "We have to do something off the beaten track and give ourselves the means to bring home the World Cup as it is not normal for our women to lag behind our men." Renard was facing competition from Jocelyn Gourvennec until the latter withdrew citing that he is more interested in everyday management and not the sporadic nature of international coaching.

Despite a number of successes, notably on the African continent, this promises to be the biggest challenge of Renard's career so far with the French team struggling to tap into their potential to dominate the women's game in recent years.