Thomas Tuchel joined Paris Saint-Germain at the beginning of the 2018-19 season, winning back-to-back league titles and the French cup and league cup last season; former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is in pole position to become the next PSG manager, according to Sky Italy
Friday 25 December 2020 08:01, UK
Thomas Tuchel has been sacked by Paris Saint-Germain, four months after taking them to the Champions League final.
Tuchel joined the club at the beginning of the 2018-19 season, winning back-to-back league titles as well as the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue in 2020.
Mauricio Pochettino, who played for PSG from 2001 to 2003, is in pole position to become the next manager of the Ligue 1 club, according to Sky Italy.
Discussions with the former Tottenham, Southampton and Espanyol boss are at an advanced stage and it is now about trying to reach a total agreement between the parties.
PSG are currently third in Ligue 1, a point behind leaders Lyon, and have lost four of their 17 games in the league this season. They topped their group in the Champions League ahead of RB Leipzig and Manchester United, and will face Barcelona in the last 16 of the competition.
Tuchel's departure comes four months after he guided the club to their first Champions League final where they lost to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.
The German replaced Unai Emery on a two-year contract in June 2018, and signed an extension last May which would have seen him stay in Paris until the end of the current campaign.
However, in October there was a public fallout over player recruitment with the club's sporting director Leonardo.
Tuchel said: "We lose too many players on free transfers. It is too, too much. We cannot ask this squad the same thing as we did last season."
The following day Leonardo voiced his disapproval of Tuchel's comments, saying "you have to respect the people above you".
"I didn't like his comments, the club didn't like them either," he said.
"We have to understand the moment we are going through. If someone is not happy, it is easy - we can talk. But if you decide to stay, you have to respect the people above you."
They beat Strasbourg 4-0 in the league on Wednesday night, and are next in action against Saint-Etienne on January 6.
PSG forward Kylian Mbappe paid tribute to Tuchel following news of his sacking.
"It is sadly the law of football. Nobody will forget your time here. You wrote a wonderful part of the club's history and I say to you: 'thank you, coach'," Mbappe said in an Instagram post on Thursday that was accompanied by a picture of him with Tuchel.
Early odds on Thursday morning suggested Pochettino was the frontrunner to take over at PSG, with the odds on the Argentine as low as 1/20 before Sky Bet closed betting.
Pochettino spent five-and-a-half years at Spurs, leading them to the Champions League final, League Cup final, and two FA Cup semi-finals, as well as four top-four finishes in the Premier League, before being dismissed in November 2019.
Pochettino told RMC Sport in 2016: "Coach one day at PSG, that would make me happy. It is a dream of mine. It is a club that I follow a lot. I try to watch their matches. Especially in the Champions League. Come back to PSG one day, why not?"
He told Sky Sports in November when asked where his next role will be: "I don't know. I'm not going to close any door. I learnt when I was really, really young, [Pochettino's former coach] Jorge Griffa would say, 'Mauricio, football is going to dictate your way'.
"And I am waiting to feel what is the right project for us, which is the right way to take.
"My energy is full, I'd love to be involved in the game but at the same time I need to understand that at the moment is a good moment that you need to wait. You need to wait for the right project and for sure football is going to bring what football wants and we need to be open and to accept or not."