January 19, 2021
Sports

Paris St-Germain: Mauricio Pochettino main contender to replace Thomas Tuchel

bbc– Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the main contender to take over at Paris St-Germain after Thomas Tuchel was sacked.

On Tuesday, PSG announced Tuchel’s contract had been “terminated” and it is understood the club’s players are aware Pochettino will replace him.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi thanked Tuchel and said the club “will remember the good times we shared”.

Talks between PSG and Pochettino started at least two weeks ago.

Tuchel, 47, became the Ligue 1 side’s boss in June 2018, winning two league titles, the French Cup and French League Cup.

They also reached the Champions League final for the first time last season, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Former Borussia Dortmund coach Tuchel’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season.

PSG are currently third in Ligue 1, a point behind leaders Lyon, while they are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Barcelona.

Pochettino, 48, led Spurs to the Champions League final in 2019 where they lost to Liverpool and he has been linked regularly with the PSG job in recent months.

He played for PSG between 2001 and 2003, and has been without a job since leaving Spurs in November 2019.

The former Southampton boss joined Spurs in 2014 and guided them to the League Cup final in his first full season while two third-placed finishes sandwiched a runners-up spot in the Premier League in 2017.

PSG have been linked with a January loan move for Tottenham’s Dele Alli, who made his Premier League debut under Pochettino.

Will Tuchel manage in the Premier League? Analysis

BBC World Service Sport’s John Bennett

Since PSG lost the Champions League final 1-0 to Bayern Munich in August, it’s been a difficult time for Tuchel on and off the pitch.

Towards the end of the summer transfer window, he had a public falling out with the club’s sporting director Leonardo over recruitment.

And earlier this week, he gave an interview with a German TV station saying he felt more like “a sports politician or sports minister than a coach” during his first season at the club.

Tuchel claimed that the quotes had been taken out of context and said “it’s possible they translated incorrectly” but again it hinted at problems behind the scenes.

The players seemed to respond well to him but, to the outside world, other relationships at the club didn’t seem so comfortable.

It reminded me of comments once made by Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke about Tuchel: “Thomas is a difficult person, but a fantastic trainer.”

Meanwhile on the pitch, the team haven’t dominated the French league as they usually do, losing four games to find themselves in third place at Christmas behind Lille and Lyon.

And although they ended up winning their Champions League group, disappointing defeats by Manchester United and RB Leipzig increased the pressure.

His time at PSG may be over but Tuchel’s reputation as a coach means he will be in demand over the next few weeks and months. There’s no doubt that one day he will manage in the Premier League.

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