Quick Bit: Current PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino, hired in January 2021, looks to be on his way out after failures both domestically and abroad.
For years, PSG have pushed for Champions League glory under Qatari-backed ownership. Still unable to lay their hands on the coveted European trophy, the club may once again be looking to change leadership on the field, hoping it will change their fortunes as well.
Current boss Mauricio Pochettino, hired just last summer, is on his way out according to a number of reports over the last few months. Chatter began even before PSG were dumped out of the 2021/22 Champions League by eventual champions Real Madrid, and now it feels like a foregone conclusion that Pochettino will be leaving the club with reports of an agreement with a successor.
Still, until PSG confirm his departure, the Argentine remains in charge in the French capital.
The Sporting News brings you the latest news and reports regarding Mauricio Pochettino’s job status at the Ligue 1 champions.
Have PSG fired Mauricio Pochettino?
ESPNFC’s Ligue 1 correspondent Julien Laurens reported on June 15 that Mauricio Pochettino is set to depart the club, despite winning the French league title.
Laurens’s report is just the latest in a long line of suggestions that PSG will eventually part ways with Pochettino. However, the Argentine isn’t going down without a fight.
According to a report by Spanish publication AS on June 20, there is disagreement over the compensation package for Pochettino and his staff to leave the club.
The outlet states that Pochettino’s contract calls for a EUR20 million (?17 million / $21.5 million) severance fee for ending the relationship early, but the club is attempting to reduce that figure. Obviously, Pochettino is insisting that the contract be honored and the club pony up if they wish to make a change.
Why are PSG replacing Mauricio Pochettino?
Despite winning the Ligue 1 title in 2021/22, Mauricio Pochettino’s first full season at PSG has been considered a failure by the club, thus spurring a change at the helm.
PSG have sights set higher than winning the French league title, with seemingly only Champions League glory enough to satiate the club’s ownership and fans. In fact, the club’s ultras protested the season’s results by leaving Parc des Princes 15 minutes early on the day the club clinched the Ligue 1 title, refusing to celebrate the accomplishment with the players.
Additionally, the domestic results were not all up to standard either. The club was dumped from the Coupe de France in the Round of 16 by Nice in a penalty shootout.
Player and executive discord was also at the heart of Pochettino’s struggles. The ESPNFC report indicated that twice during the season, Pochettino wished to discipline a player for breaking team rules, but was overruled by those in higher positions.
An ESPNFC report on June 20 also stated that conflicting forces atop the club’s hierarchy, including former sporting director Leonardo, CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and owner Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani all had varying opinions on matters, or different standards of satisfaction, which were difficult for Pochettino to navigate.
Who could replace Mauricio Pochettino at PSG?
A few names have been linked with the PSG managerial job once it’s vacated, but one seems to stand out above the rest.
It appears OGC Nice manager Christophe Galtier will be the next man in charge at PSG. French publication L’Equipe reported on June 20 that the club was in negotiations with Galtier to be the next PSG manager, and CEO Al-Khelaifi confirmed as such the following day. It was reported on June 22 that there was an agreement in place for Galtier to take over.
“We have a shortlist of coaches. We are in talks with Nice, this is not a secret,” Al-Khelaifi told French publication Le Parisien in an interview.
Multiple reports over the past few days, including from AS, suggested French legend and former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was at the top of the PSG list, but that Zidane had expressed a preference to wait until after the 2022 World Cup due to his desire to manage the French national team. Should Didier Deschamps leave the France post after the World Cup, which has been rumored after a 10-year spell in charge, Zidane would be a likely candidate to replace him.
In the Le Parisien interview, Al-Khelaifi stated that PSG have not to this point had negotiations with Zidane, hinting at an understanding of his desire to coach the French national team.
The ESPN report also stated that Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui, Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim, and River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo were other names explored by PSG before landing on Galtier.
Which club will Mauricio Pochettino manage next?
Should the separation with PSG go through as expected, Pochettino sets up to be the first manager on the list of any top European club making a change during the winter.
Leagues around the world will be breaking from Nov. 14 through Dec. 18 for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and that could prove a prime opportunity for struggling giants to opt for a managerial replacement.
With leagues kicking off in August, there will be three months worth of matches, including the entire group stage of Europe’s continental competitions, for executives and owners at the top leagues to entertain making a change.
Pochettino has served as head coach in Spain with Espanyol (Jan. 2009 to Nov. 2012) and in England with Southampton (Jan. 2013 to June 2014) and Tottenham Hotspur (July 2014 to Nov. 2019).
The Argentine was also fired from his previous job at Spurs after a trophy-less tenure at the club. It was over a year later that he took over his next club in midseason when he assumed the PSG reins in January 2021.
While he led PSG to the Coupe de France in that first half-season, he fell short in the other two competitions, finishing one point behind LOSC Lille for the French title and losing to Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. He eventually came away with the Ligue 1 title in his first full season (2021/22), but the three other cups eluded him, including the all-important Champions League.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More