Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed they have terminated Thomas Tuchel’s contract, with Mauricio Pochettino in line to become the next manager.
Tuchel was sacked by the French club on Christmas Eve, four months after steering them to their first Champions League final where they lost to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.
“I would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his staff for everything they brought to the Club,” said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
“Thomas has put a lot of energy and passion into his work, and of course we will remember the good times we shared together. I wish him the best for his future.”
Mauricio Pochettino is set for his first management job since being sacked at Spurs 13 months ago
The French champions only confirmed Tuchel’s exit on Tuesday due to legal wrangles over a severance package, which will amount to around £5m.
Pochettino is expected to replace the German and take up his first job in management since his dismissal at Tottenham in November 2019.
The Argentine, who played for PSG from 2001 to 2003, 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?”
The PSG job could be perfect for Pochettino after the sacking of Tuchel, according to Simon Francis on The Football Show
Tuchel took over from Unai Emery on a two-year contract in June 2018, and won two Ligue 1 titles as well as one Coupe de France and one Coupe de la Ligue.
The German’s contract ran until the end of the current campaign, having signed an extension last May, and he leaves Ligue 1 with a 75.6% win rate – the highest success percentage for a coach in the league’s history.
PSG forward Kylian Mbappe bid his former boss farewell on Christmas Eve and said his tenure has been a “wonderful part of the club’s history”.
“It is sadly the law of football,” Mbappe wrote on Instagram. “Nobody will forget your time here. You wrote a wonderful part of the club’s history and I say to you thank you coach.”
French football journalist Jonathan Johnson says Pochettino’s top priority at PSG will be to win the Champions League
‘Winning CL Poch’s main goal at PSG’
French football journalist Jonathan Johnson told Sky Sports News that Pochettino’s in-tray at PSG will involve securing the long-term futures of their star players including Mbappe, while there will be little leeway for transfers in the January transfer window.
“Everybody will be very keen to see what Pochettino’s first move will be as PSG coach,” Johnson said. “There’s not as big a budget as usual at PSG, with everything happening with Covid and also the economic situation in France with the collapse of the recent TV deal.
“I don’t expect there to be many big-name moves – there are a couple of players who have played under Pochettino who have been linked with moves away from their clubs, Christian Eriksen at Inter Milan and Dele Alli at Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking on MNF back in November, Pochettino said he was ready to return to management
“But PSG’s priority at this moment in time is to nail down the future of their star players, like Neymar and Mbappe, so I don’t expect them to be spending too much money this January if any at all.
“The decision was made some time ago by PSG, and put into action this winter in a similar way to Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment at the beginning of the Qatar Sports Investment era.
“The feeling was that a change was needed and there have been the likes of Kylian Mbappe taking to social media already and giving his thanks to Tuchel for what he’s given him in his time as coach.
“The main goal for PSG is to go one better than last season and actually win the Champions League. So Pochettino’s ability to lead a team to the Champions League final, based on what he did with Spurs, will count heavily in his favour.
“I would point out that Pochettino will have a chance to add some silverware to his cabinet very early on in his PSG career, based on the fact that they will be playing in the Trophee Des Champions very early in January.”