L’Équipe report that despite being expected to leave the club at the end of season, Mauricio Pochettino could now stay on as PSG manager, in part thanks to the support of Kylian Mbappé.
After renewing his contract, the forward indicated that he had a “great relationship” with his current manager, ostensibly indicating that he would accept playing under Pochettino for the last year of the Argentine’s contract.
Pochettino was all but set to leave until recently, and had previous sporting director Leonardo stayed on – he was dismissed during Saturday’s title celebrations – the former Tottenham Hotspur coach would have been sure to leave.
With the vacancies that opened up at Manchester United and his former team in North London now filled, Pochettino could now be leaning towards remaining in France. Mbappé’s support could prove crucial, with the 23-year-old expressing his approval of the coach both in public and in private.
The Argentine’s statement last month that both he and his star forward would “100%” be at the club next season could potentially turn out to be prophetic.
Within the club, it is now being said quietly that the season’s failures – the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, mainly – are not entirely down to Pochettino, and that his difficult relationship with Leonardo did not help.
Keeping Pochettino would have several benefits. First of all, it would save the club the €15m needed to sack him now. More importantly, it would mean that once the former Southampton man leaves at the end of next year, PSG can go for Pep Guardiola, who is the Qatari owners’ dream coach.
Aside from the bigger names, Thiago Motta is a potential option. The Spezia manager had been Leonardo’s choice, but is also highly regarded by Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Seeing the former midfielder, who played at the club for 6 years, grow as a manager on the PSG bench in the same way as Guardiola did at Barcelona is an enticing prospect for the club president.