Mauricio Pochettino, the manager of Paris Saint-Germain, has been sacked just months after leading the team to the league title, according to sources.
Though PSG is yet to confirm the Argentine’s departure, sources suggest it was finalized on Wednesday morning, June 15, 2022. Note that Pochettino’s contract had one year left before PSG decided to sack him.
At the time of publishing this report, PSG were still trying to sign Pochettino’s replacement. Nice manager Christophe Galtier is currently the front-runner and favorite of PSG’s new director Luis Campos, who took over for Leonardo a couple of weeks ago.
According to sources, the talks are going well, and Galtier, who won the Ligue 1 title with Lille ahead of PSG in 2021, is interested in the post.
However, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who owns PSG and has known Zinedine Zidane for many years, has made the French tactician a top priority.
Nasser Al Khelaifi decided to sack Mauricio Pochettino even before the appointment of Luís Campos as new director. So it’s Paris Saint-Germain decision, not up to Campos. 🇫🇷🇦🇷 #PSG— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 12, 2022
Pochettino’s departure will be officially confirmed in the coming days. No statement for Leonardo.
Recall that Zidane has been without a club since leaving Real Madrid in the summer of 2021. Reports in France claimed that he wants to coach the France national team if coach Didier Deschamps’ era ends before the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, hence, he is unlikely to be the new PSG manager.
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has also been approached, with River Plate’s Marcelo Gallardo and Sporting’s Ruben Amorim also on the shortlist.
Note that PSG has made significant changes in key roles after Kylian Mbappe snubbed Real Madrid to accept a new three-year contract with the French champions.
Then, one of the crucial factors that delayed Mbappe’s contract extension was Leonardo, with whom he had a tense relationship.
Mbappe revealed he was not keen on Leonardo as the club’s sporting director next season during one of the several rounds of negotiations he had with the PSG administration, and suggested transfer guru Campos as an option.
Campos, 57, was at Monaco when Mbappe made his name by winning the Ligue 1 title and reaching the Champions League quarterfinals in 2017. Mbappe is one of several significant wins for Campos, who is known for identifying top talent and securing high transfer sums for hidden gems.
Pochettino’s future in Paris has been a topic of discussion since PSG was knocked out from the Champions League in the round of 16 by Real Madrid, despite having a 2-0 aggregate lead at half-time of the second leg.
Even PSG’s 10th Ligue 1 victory was overshadowed by a protest from the club’s ultras, who left the game with 15 minutes to go rather than celebrate with the players.
Before now, Pochettino was heavily linked with taking over as Manchester United manager next season, but the Premier League giants chose Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag instead.
According to reports, the decision came down to a choice between Ten Hag and Pochettino, with Pochettino’s contract status at PSG — he was under contract until the summer of 2023 — influencing United’s decision. Unfortunately for him, PSG sacked him after United had given the job to Ten Hag.
Following his departure from Tottenham in 2019, Mauricio Pochettino was appointed PSG manager in January 2021 and didn’t last up to two seasons before he became jobless again.