PSG sack Tuchel, Pochettino the target – reports

Paris Saint-Germain have sacked coach Thomas Tuchel with the club’s former defender and ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino lined up as his replacement, according to various media reports on Thursday.

The French champions declined to make a statement when contacted by AFP to confirm the shock Christmas Eve axing as claimed by L’Equipe newspaper, news outlet RMC and German tabloid Bild.

“No idea,” a club spokesman replied when asked when the news would be confirmed.

“We can’t at this stage make any comment on this subject,” they added.

Pochettino, who spent two years and a half as a player at the club, could take his first training session on 3 January after the winter break.

Tuchel, 47, arrived at the Parc des Princes on a two-year contract in 2018, and guided the Parisians to their first Champions League final last season.

But now, if the reports are confirmed, less than three months on from the final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon, the German has become the first PSG coach to leave mid-season since Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011.

Tuchel, who is set to depart six months before the end of his deal, guided PSG to a last 16 date with Barcelona in this season’s Champions League despite being plagued by injuries, suspensions and coronavirus infections.

And in contrast to his predecessors, Tuchel appeared adept at man-managing his band of superstar players, giving Neymar back the smile that was missing during the Unai Emery era.

The Qatari-backed club, however, are thought to be unhappy with recent comments in the press by Tuchel, the most recent an unauthorised interview which appeared in the German media on Wednesday.