Paris Saint-Germain have reached an agreement with head coach Mauricio Pochettino that will see the Argentine quit ahead of the upcoming season after 18 months in charge, Athleticism has learned.
Pochettino reportedly met with the PSG hierarchy last week to discuss the 2021-22 campaign, in which his side won Ligue 1 but lost to eventual winners Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16.
It is understood the conversation produced a mutual decision that the former PSG captain will not continue in the Parc des Princes dugout, with both sides identifying a parting of ways as the most sensible step.
Considering that Pochettino’s contract was set to expire in 2023, his exit has yet to be finalized. But the club is already looking for its new leader; Nice’s Christophe Galtier is believed to be among the various options.
Pochettino’s exit will follow that of sporting director Leonardo last week. He was replaced by Luis Campos, who will work as PSG’s football adviser.
Pochettino was given chances to leave the French capital last summer – Real put him high on the list of candidates to succeed Zinedine Zidane and Tottenham Hotspur showed keen interest in appointing their ex-manager as a replacement. Jose Mourinho – however, a decision for the 50-year-old did not materialize.
That followed Pochettino establishing himself as the third PSG boss to guide them to a European Cup semi-final, beating a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona and reigning champions Bayern Munich along the way.
His charges also lifted the Coupe de France and while they were surprisingly propelled to the top-flight crown by Lille, Pochettino had inherited a team that was third when he took over from Thomas Tuchel in January 2021 and has improved their points-per-game ratio.
On another occasion, their Qatari owner changed coach mid-season – swapping Antoine Kombouare for Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011 – which, too, did not result in a league triumph.
Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Messi and Nuno Mendes were recruited at great expense to bolster Pochettino’s side and they sealed the French title faster than their counterparts from England, Germany, Italy. Italy and Spain.
They did so by the biggest margin and Manchester City were the only winners to earn more points, although question marks persisted over the style of play and supporters expressed their displeasure. Meanwhile, constant links with potential employers such as Manchester United have become a theme of Pochettino’s tenure.
He stunned City to advance to the Champions League semi-finals with Tottenham in 2019, but his PSG were knocked out by them in 2021 and the nature of a collapse against Real in March proved fatal for his future.
Barcelona, Bayern Munch, City and Real provided opposition in 10 of Pochettino’s 14 Champions League games at PSG, but he ultimately suffered the same result as Tuchel, Unai Emery, Laurent Blanc and Ancelotti. Each of these Blanc bar quartets went on to work at elite level and went on to collect major European silverware, indicating that there is life outside of PSG.
There have been criticisms of what Pochettino has been able to achieve with the resources at his disposal, but the comparable challenges faced by those predecessors suggest PSG’s unique environment may not be the most accurate barometer of prowess. of coach. He was not helped by his arrival amid the COVID-19 pandemic, nor by the protests and anger directed at some players and executives at games.
The collateral damage Pochettino sampled goes beyond PSG as the long-time favorite to secure the United job missed out on Erik ten Hag.
Given how close he has come to this vacancy and the regard in which the former Espanyol and Southampton manager appears to be held industry-wide, there are strong chances that he remains in contention for major opportunities in the future.
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