Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked as Paris Saint-Germain manager, the club have announced, with Christophe Galtier taking over on a two-year contract.
PSG formally presented Galtier at a news conference on Tuesday. ESPN first reported the news last month.
“When you’re here [at the Parc des Princes], you feel the expectations,” said Galtier, who is PSG’s first French coach since Laurent Blanc in 2013-16.
“I appreciate the responsibility that I have so that PSG can have a great season. I have been getting ready for it. If I have accepted his job, it is because I am capable of it. But we have to do it all together.”
Sources told ESPN that PSG will pay a fee of around €10 million to Nice for Galtier, who arrives having guided Nice to a runners-up finish in the French Cup and fifth place in Ligue 1 last season.
Galtier, 55, was the preferred candidate of new PSG sporting director Luis Campos, who replaced Leonardo. Galtier led Lille to the 2021 league title ahead of PSG.
Mauricio Pochettino led PSG to the Ligue 1 title, but his failure in the Champions League cost him. Marcio Machado/Eurasia
Sources told ESPN that Zinedine Zidane was the preferred option for the emir of Qatar, who owns PSG, but the former Real Madrid manager rejected approaches to take on the project.
However, PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi denied interest in Zidane, dismissing reports that PSG had been in talks with the 1998 World Cup winner about becoming their new boss.
“We never talked with Zidane. I love the player and the coach, but we never talked with him. Christophe Galtier was always our first option,” Al-Khelaifi said.
“Paris Saint-Germain confirm that Mauricio Pochettino has ended his role at the club,” PSG said in a statement. “The club would like to thank Mauricio Pochettino and his staff for their work and wish them the best for the future.”
There had been speculation over Pochettino’s future at PSG since their elimination from the Champions League by Real Madrid in the round of 16 despite holding a 2-0 aggregate lead at half-time of the second leg.
Even PSG winning their 10th Ligue 1 title in May was marred by a protest from the club’s ultras, who left the game with 15 minutes remaining rather than celebrating with the team’s players.
Despite having a star-studded squad at his disposal at PSG, with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi leading the attack, Pochettino failed to win the other domestic trophies on offer, lifting only the league title last season.
Pochettino leaves PSG after 84 competitive games in charge, having won 55, drawn 15 and lost 14.
Information from Reuters was used in this report. Culled from ESPN