Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked as Paris Saint-Germain manager just months after guiding the team to the league title, sources have told ESPN.
The club is yet to announce the departure of the Argentina, but sources have told ESPN it was agreed on Wednesday morning. Pochettino had one year left on his contract.
PSG are still trying to secure the signing of their new boss. Christophe Galtier, the Nice manager, is now the front-runner and the favorite of new sporting director Luis Campos, who replaced Leonardo.
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Sources have told ESPN that the discussions are positive and Galtier, who won the Ligue 1 title ahead of PSG with Lille, in 2021, is keen on the job.
Zinedine Zidane was the priority of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who owns PSG and has been close to Zidane for many years.
Zidane has been without a club since leaving Real Madrid in the summer of 2021, but sources have told ESPN that he wants to coach the France national team after Didier Deschamps leaves and is unlikely to be the new PSG boss.
Julen Lopetegui, the Sevilla coach, has also been offered, while Marcelo Gallardo of River Plate and Sporting’s Ruben Amorim are other names on the shortlist.
After Kylian Mbappe dramatically snubbed Madrid to sign a new three-year-contract with the French champions, PSG have made numerous changes in senior roles.
Sources told ESPN one of the key points in Mbappe’s discussions with PSG centered around Leonardo, with whom he had an uneasy relationship.
In one of the many rounds of talks held with the PSG hierarchy, Mbappe said he was not keen on Leonardo as the club’s sporting director next season and identified transfer guru Campos as an alternative.
Campos, 57, was at Monaco when Mbappe burst onto the stage and won the Ligue 1 title in 2017, as well as reaching the Champions League semifinals. Campos has a reputation for unearthing top talent and securing large transfer fees for hidden gems, with Mbappe one of many notable successes.
Speculation over Pochettino’s future in the French capital has swirled since PSG were eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid in the round of 16, despite holding a 2-0 aggregate lead at half-time of the second leg.
Even PSG’s clinching of their 10th Ligue 1 title last month was marred by a protest from the club’s ultras, who left the game with 15 minutes remaining rather than celebrating with the team’s players.
Pochettino was strongly linked with taking over as manager of Manchester United next season before the Premier League giants opted to appoint Erik Ten Hag from Ajax.
Sources told ESPN that the decision came down to a choice between Ten Hag and Pochettino, with Pochettino’s contract situation at PSG — he was on a deal through the summer of 2023 — playing a part in United ultimately opting for the Dutch coach.
Pochettino was appointed PSG boss in January 2021, following his dismissal from Tottenham at the end of 2019.