France was careful not to speak out about Lagarde's candidacy during the G8 summit that took place in Deauville on Thursday and Friday.

Juppe said the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and the European members of the group -- France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany -- were firmly in favor of Lagarde.

The top IMF job is vacant after Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned over attempted rape charges which he has vowed to fight.

The only other declared candidate is Mexican Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens.

(Reporting by Yves Clarisse; Writing by Helen Massy-Beresford)