By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly been sacked as manager of Paris Saint-Germain after the Argentine and the club reached an agreement on his exit.
The 50-year-old Argentine has a year left on his contract at PSG.
Pochettino has been in charge for 18 months and led the club to the Ligue 1 title in his first full season, finishing 15 points clear of second placed Marseille – the biggest margin of victory in any of Europe’s big five divisions.But the club’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid at the last-16 was a factor in the mutual decision for Pochettino to leave Paris.
ESPN reported on Wednesday that he had been sacked, although an official announcement is yet to be made.
Nice manager Christophe Galtier is thought to be the favourite to replace Pochettino as PSG boss after Luis Campos replaced Leonardo as sporting director.
According to ESPN, talks with Galtier have progressed well and he is keen to take up the daunting role at the French champions.
Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane had been believed to be the preferred choice of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar who owns PSG.
Zinedine Zidane had been the club’s number one choice to replace Pochettino this summerAfter arriving as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement in 2021, Pochettino, 50, led PSG to the Champions League semi-final – becoming only the second boss to guide the club to that stage of the competition during the Qatari ownership era.
His team were undefeated at home in the Champions League and Ligue 1 last season.
Nevertheless, the decision has been made for Pochettino to leave ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Pochettino guided PSG to the French league title by a record margin last season.
Pochettino had been linked with the vacant manager’s job at Manchester United before the club opted to appoint Erik ten Hag.
The former Spurs boss also reportedly emerged as a target for Athletic Bilbao if Ricardo Barkala wins the Spanish club’s upcoming presidential election, who is keen to pair him alongside old Spurs and Espanyol sporting director Ramon Planes.
PSG had reportedly hoped Pochettino would get the United job to ensure they did not have to pay-out a significant sum to their now-outgoing boss, as the Argentinian seeks a Premier League return after reaching an agreement to leave the French capital.