A few days ago, Paris Saint-Germain won the Ligue 1 title for the 10th time in its history. Still, nobody feels it was a successful season for the French giants. Once again, PSG failed to win the Champions League and only reached the 1/8-finals of the competition, where they lost against Real Madrid.
The expectations were completely different in the summer when the French club had one of the best transfer windows in history. One of the greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi, sensationally moved to Paris on a free transfer. At the same time, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Georginio Wijnaldum arrived without a fee as well. Meanwhile, the club acquired the services of Inter Milan’s Achraf Hakimi, Porto’s Danilo Pereira, and Sporting CP’s Nuno Mendes. Such a solid business, right?
One of the best attacking trios of all time
PSG’s fans were thrilled for the season as their club managed to create one of the most exciting tridents of all time. Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe in the same team? You can see why the supporters expected to see Paris humiliating every team they faced in France and Europe.
It didn’t go entirely according to the plan, though. For most of the season, the forwards lacked chemistry, and it was just Mbappe who scored in the two legs against Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Messi was barely scoring any goals, although he contributed with many assists.
Some of the other new signings were far from impressive as well. Sergio Ramos almost didn’t play because of his injuries, while Donnarumma made a severe mistake in the decisive second game in Madrid. As for Gini Wijnaldum, he had to accept the role of a benchwarmer for the majority of the campaign.
Despite winning the Ligue 1, which is his first league title ever, Mauricio Pochettino is expected to leave PSG in the summer. The Argentine manager looked utterly unable to create a harmonic team in Paris. At the same time, he was often criticized for his tactics as well. It’s rumored that he didn’t win the players’ trust, which means it’d be for the best if he left.
Nobody can’t tell what’s Mauricio Pochettino’s future right now. He was interviewed for the Manchester United job, but it was Erik ten Hag who signed the contract in the end. A return to England or Spain looks like the best option for Tottenham’s ex-manager.
So, let’s go straight to the question – who will be PSG’s next manager?
Despite Ligue 1 not being as popular as the Premier League or La Liga, PSG remains a top job for every manager in the world right now. The club has an enormous budget, and let’s be honest – who wouldn’t want to train players like Lionel Messi, Neymar, Marco Verratti, and Achraf Hakimi? Even if the French league is not such a big domestic challenge, PSG’s journey for a first Champions League trophy is a fascinating affair.
Here are some of the top managers in the world who could become Mauricio Pochettino’s successor at Paris Saint-Germain:
Being one of France’s biggest legends ever, Zidane looks like the top choice for the job. So far, Zizou has managed just one club in his career as a coach – Real Madrid, but with terrific success. The 49-years old tactician won the Champions League in three consecutive seasons with Los Blancos, which means that he’s a specialist in the competition. The same competition remains PSG’s most significant goal.
One of Zidane’s best qualities as a manager is how he deals with the big names in the dressing room. That’s probably the thing Paris needs the most at the moment. One of the things that failed Pochettino in the French capital was that his man-management skills didn’t work very well with the players. Zidane could be a massive improvement in this regard.
Antonio Conte is currently contracted to the Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, but his life in North London is far from perfect. We are already hearing some rumors that Conte could leave Spurs in the summer as he has some disagreements with the board. This would be a perfect opportunity for PSG to make him an offer and bring him to Paris.
One of the best Italian managers right now, Antonio Conte guarantees success. He won the Italian Serie A with two different teams while conquering the Premier League with Chelsea. He’s still trying to win the Champions League for the first time, and PSG’s potential could allow him the honor. Conte is aware that he would work with some excellent players in Paris – they just need to be coached in the right way.
PSG reached the Champions League final just once in their history, and it was Thomas Tuchel who brought them so close to the trophy. He was surprisingly sacked by the board, and in the same season, he led Chelsea to the European throne. It’s pretty ironic, isn’t it?
According to some rumors, PSG could try to bring Tuchel back and fix their mistake. The German manager feels happy in London, but Chelsea’s administrative problems could make him rethink his future. The Blues are under some heavy sanctions (read here) because of their owner Roman Abramovich, and it’s still not clear who will buy the club from the Russian billionaire.
Roberto Mancini’s tenure as manager of Italy has been a real rollercoaster so far. He made history by winning the European Championship in the summer of 2021. Still, he failed to qualify the Italian team for the World Cup soon after that. Because of what happened against North Macedonia, his future with the Azzurri remains unclear.
On the club level, Roberto Mancini is a proven coach. He won the Premier League with Manchester City while leading Inter Milan to three Serie A titles. You can also find the FA Cup, Coppa Italia, The Supercoppa Italiana, and the Turkish Cup in his trophy cabinet. Mancini’s reputation was seriously hurt by what happened in the World Cup qualifiers. Still, he remains one of the top coaches in the game.
The multiple Serie A winner Massimiliano Allegri is another Italian manager linked with the PSG job lately. He’s currently contracted to Juventus, but his second stint in Turin is not exactly a fairytale. The Old Lady won’t win the Calcio, and they suffered a massive disappointment against Villarreal in the Champions League. His current status at the Allianz Stadium is not clear.
Being frustrated with Juventus’ season, Allegri could look for a way out. He has never worked outside Italy in his career so far, and moving to France could be a tempting possibility. Especially when PSG could provide him with an enormous budget for new signings in the summer.
Without a club, since he was sacked by Barcelona in 2020, Ernesto Valverde is one of the underdogs for the PSG job. But an interesting option at the same time.
Although he’s not much loved by Barca’s fans, we should not forget the facts – Valverde led the Catalans to two La Liga titles and won two more trophies as well – Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup. His unconvincing record in the Champions League would certainly stop him from getting the PSG job, though. The Spanish tactician failed miserably in the competition, being eliminated by AS Roma and Liverpool with a significant advantage in the first match.
Being a World Cup winner is enough for any manager’s resume. Joachim Löw coached Germany between 2006 and 2021, and winning the world title in 2014 was the peak of his career. With him, the national team played an exciting attacking football which would be appreciated by PSG’s fans in the Ligue 1.
What’s the biggest problem with Löw? The last time he coached a club was in 2004, and it’s a very long time since. The 62-years old tactician is no longer used to the club football dynamic, and it’s not clear how he’d adapt to such a challenge. That’s arguably the most considerable risk about him.
If you can’t get Pep Guardiola, then why not one of his students? Mikel Arteta is currently managing Arsenal, but a big offer from PSG could make him think about it. The Spanish tactician is just 40-years old, but he gained some precious experience in the Premier League. He even led the Gunners to FA Cup glory in 2020 – his first trophy as a manager.
Mikel Arteta has some sentiments about PSG as well. He played two seasons for the French club at the beginning of the millennium and made 53 appearances for Les Parisiens. Why not going back to Paris then?
If you want to win the Champions League, why not hire someone who reached the final twice? Diego Simeone has been coaching Atletico Madrid since 2011, and he quickly turned into the most successful manager in the club’s history. He won La Liga twice and reached the Champions League final in 2014 and 2016.
Being a football manager means changing jobs and dealing with cycles. After 11 years in Madrid, Simeone’s cycle at Atletico could be ending soon. What would eventually stop PSG from offering him a contract is his reputation as an ultra-defensive coach. Your last idea should be playing defensive football when you have players like Messi and Neymar.
Inter Milan had to wait 45 years to win the Champions League again. And who was the manager to secure them the European glory again? Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese tactician led the Nerazzurri to a historic treble in 2010 and cemented his place among the best coaches in the game’s history.
At this moment, Mourinho is working with AS Roma in the Serie A, but he doesn’t have the recourses he would be able to use in Paris. Moving to PSG would mean that he will have the opportunity to fight for the Champions League trophy – something impossible with Roma. That’s a massive motivation for any manager, and the Special One is not an exception.
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