Despite regaining the Ligue 1 title after missing out two years ago, PSG have decided to move on from Mauricio Pochettino, who will not see out the last year of his deal.
Pochettino’s failure to deliver the Champions League title to the French capital ultimately cost the Argentine his job, with PSG suffering a late collapse to Real Madrid in the round of 16.
A Premier League return has been mooted for Pochettino after a couple of years in France, but who are some of the top contenders to take over from him at the Parc des Princes?
PSG have reportedly identified Zidane as their top target to be the next man in the dugout.
Zidane has been out of work since ending his second spell at Madrid a year ago, having endured a trophyless campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu, so he is available right now. Some outlets have even claimed Zidane has already agreed to take over at PSG, even though it has long been rumoured that the 49-year-old has an eye on the France job instead.
Didier Deschamps remains in post as Les Bleus head coach but he could move on after the World Cup later in the year, with Zidane naturally touted as an obvious successor to take over. A year on the sidelines may have been enough to recharge Zidane’s batteries, however, while his record in the Champions League is sure to have caught the eye of PSG’s decision-makers.
Zidane won an unprecedented three Champions League titles in a row at Real Madrid. Repeating the trick may be unlikely but PSG prize the European crown above all else.
Another manager with experience of winning the Champions League is Mourinho, with his stock high once more having led Roma to the Europa Conference League crown a few weeks ago. Returning to Italy has proven a smart move for Mourinho, who is loved by Roma fans and is enjoying the adoration of the Giallorossi after a rather testing spell in charge of Tottenham.
While Mourinho’s critics may point that many of his top career successes are now a rather long time ago, few can match his record of eight league titles and two Champions League crowns. Mourinho has worked before with Luis Campos, who has replaced Leonardo in a key behind the scenes role at PSG, so this is something else that could count in the Portuguese’s favour.
While Mourinho appears to be happy in Rome, the chance to compete for the Champions League title again could be appealing. He may also be tempted by the opportunity to add Ligue 1 to the league successes in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain that are already on his record.
PSG may find an obvious contender under their noses in the form of the Nice boss Galtier. After all, it was Galtier who was at the helm when Lille surprised French football and upset the odds to claim the Ligue 1 title over PSG two seasons ago, beating Pochettino’s side to top spot.
A switch to Nice has been far from an unparalleled success for Galtier, who missed out on a place in the top four, and reports suggest he is already looking to move on to a new club.
The 55-year-old has spent almost his entire career in France, so he knows Ligue 1 better than anyone. However, Galtier lacks experience of managing in the Champions League.
Nice director of football Julien Fournier has already spoken about the prospect of Galtier moving to PSG, warning the French champions to move quickly if they want to appoint the coach.
Conte gave an immediate rebuttal to suggestions he had put himself forward for the PSG job a couple of months ago, but the Italian is sure to be among the top contenders being considered.
Few can match Conte’s record even if the 52-year-old has yet to taste European glory. A strong end to the season at Spurs, hauling in their local rivals Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League, coupled with the club’s willingness to deliver on transfer targets such as the former Inter attacker Ivan Perisic, indicates that Conte is now settled and happy to stay in London.
Yet Conte rarely spends longer than two or three years at a club and, if he was offered the chance to switch to PSG he might find that opportunity to be too good to turn down.