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Who could replace Mauricio Pochettino at PSG?

Nice boss Christophe Galtier continues to be hotly linked with a switch PSG
Nice boss Christophe Galtier continues to be hotly linked with a switch PSG

Mauricio Pochettino is set to leave PSG following talks with the club, according to BBC Sport and other major media outlets.

Pochettino, who replaced Thomas Tuchel in 2021, still has a year to run on his contract but will depart a year early after 18 months in Paris during which he won three trophies: Ligue 1, Coupe de France, and the Trophée des Champions.

However, the Argentine failed to end the club’s elusive quest for Champions League glory; losing to eventual winners Real Madrid in the last-16.

Who could the French giants turn to next as they bid to climb to the summit of European football?

The next PSG manager market has been open for some time, featuring the likes of Christophe Galtier, Zinedine Zidane, Jose Mourinho and other high-profile names, just as you’d expect.

Nice coach Christophe Galtier (10/11, Paddy Power) has been a thorn in PSG’s side in recent years, having led Lille to a shock title win in 2021, while current side Nice dumped Pochettino’s PSG out of the French Cup last season and took four points off them in the league.

Galtier, whose Nice side finished 5th in the league and runners-up in the cup, has reportedly been identified as the No.1 choice of PSG’s new sporting co-ordinator Luis Campo: the duo previously worked together at Lille, where Galtier would go on to win the title.

Galtier, 55, performed heroics at Lille, previously led Saint-Étienne to domestic cup glory, and the three-time Ligue 1 Manager of the Year obviously knows the French league inside out. However, there could be question marks over his Champions League experience which consists of just six group stage games with Lille in 2019/20 (one draw and five defeats).

Zinedine Zidane is believed to be waiting for the France job
Zinedine Zidane is believed to be waiting for the France job

Someone who does boast plenty of Champions League nous is Zinedine Zidane (11/10, BetVictor); a three-time winner as a manager. Only Carlo Ancelotti has more triumphs (four).

Zidane is a master at managing egos, which would surely make him an ideal fit as orchestrator of PSG’s jukebox of star names. The former Real Madrid boss has long been linked with a move to Paris and would surely be the club’s preferred choice if he was to showcase an interest in the role, however his advisor has denied the reports that the two parties have been in contact.

It’s long been thought that Zidane is keen to manage the France national team, where a vacancy is likely to become available after the upcoming World Cup when the contract of Didier Deschamps expires.

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira is a 33/1 outsider
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira is a 33/1 outsider

It does seem to be a two-horse race between Galtier and Zidane, but that’s not to say that PSG don’t have their eye on other managers, although the linked Jose Mourinho (25/1) and Antonio Conte (40/1) look set to stay at Roma and Tottenham respectively. An official approach could change things, however.

The highly-rated young Portuguese boss, Ruben Amorim, was recently the favourite in the betting but he too appears to be staying put at Sporting Lisbon, drifting out to 25/1.

Porto’s three-time league-winning manager Sergio Conceicao is hovering around the 20/1 mark, alongside former PSG player and coach Thiago Motta who has just completed a season in charge of Serie A side Spezia, finishing 16th.

Outsiders in the betting include Crystal Palace incumbent - and former Nice boss - Patrick Vieira at 33/1, Arsene Wenger and Marcelo Bielsa out at 50/1, and ex-Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde at 66/1.

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