PSG turn to Tuchel in hunt for Emery successor

Paris Saint-Germain may complete the first leg of a treble on Saturday if they can defeat Monaco in the Coupe de la Ligue final in Bordeaux, but even if head coach Unai Emery completes a domestic clean sweep, his future lies elsewhere.

PSG turn to Tuchel in hunt for Emery successor

PSG turn to Tuchel in hunt for Emery successor

Cristiano Ronaldo scrawled the writing on the wall when he put Real Madrid 1-0 up earlier this month in Paris, guiding Zinedine Zidane’s men to a 5-2 aggregate victory and yet another European Cup quarter-final.

Champions League progress was on Emery's remit when he arrived at Parc des Princes in the summer of 2016 to replace Laurent Blanc, yet on this count he has managed to deliver only two last-16 appearances.

Indeed, it was based upon his fine Europa League pedigree with Sevilla that PSG decided to throw their lot in with him.

He was unfortunate to draw Barcelona and Madrid at that point in successive seasons, but the tame nature of this term’s exit following last season’s record disintegration at Camp Nou was never going to be sufficient to keep him in command – especially when the league title was lost to Monaco a year ago.

Of course, with three trophies still to be won, PSG have not made any decision official, but have rather skirted round the issue.

Speaking on Friday, sporting director Antero Henrique said: “Every day we are confronted with news about the PSG coach

“To be clear: the coach of Paris Saint-Germain is Unai Emery, he has a contract with the club and this is not the time to talk about this subject.

“We are in an important phase of the season, we have a lot of work to do to reach our goals and we need to be focused and engaged.

“No coach can say that he has spoken with us or is engaged with us for the future. All supporters of Paris Saint-Germain must know that only the club is authorised to communicate official information.”

What was notable was the lack of denial that Emery will go before the summer is out, as revealed, inadvertently or otherwise, by right-back Thomas Meunier.

“I'm waiting because a lot of things, like the coach, will change,” the right-back said when questioned earlier this month about his future.

After the disappointment of the Champions League, it is simply impossible that PSG have not at least considered their future move.

Rather than draw a Jose Mourinho or an Arsene Wenger away from the Premier League – too boring and too out-of-fashion, respectively – Goal understands PSG have turned their attention to former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel to lead them forward.

Thomas Tuchel Borussia Dortmund

Like Emery, he is expected to arrive at Parc des Princes, despite not yet hailing from the upper echelon of coaches.

After five successful seasons at Mainz, he spent two years at BVB, where he failed to muster a serious challenge to Bayern Munich’s supremacy.

The 44-year-old, however, felt that his efforts were stymied by the existing infrastructure of the club, who often seemed to work contrary to his wishes, leading to background tension.

Tuchel, though, has long been seen as the natural successor to Jurgen Klopp; a coach capable of that tantalising marriage of exciting, attacking football combined with success. This is what the Parisian public demand and expect from the expensively assembled side that play out in front of them on a weekly basis.

Neymar remains a potential problem that could overshadow the appointment. He continues to enjoy a great deal of influence around the club, and with the prospects of the world’s most expensive player moving on this summer slim, how the Brazil forward reacts to any new coach remains pivotal to the club.

Getting the 26-year-old to buy into Tuchel’s team ethos promises to be a tricky affair, as it will mean working far harder defensively than he has ever had to do previously.

The German has already shown that he has limited patience with those who do not buy into his brand, and even the prospect of coaching one of the biggest names in the game today is unlikely to see him waver.


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But he is certainly not the only name in the mix; former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and Germany coach Joachim Low are also prominent in PSG's thinking.

For whomever takes over from Emery, though, it will be upon the Champions League he is judged.

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