Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed they have terminated Thomas Tuchel’s contract, with Mauricio Pochettino in line to become the next coach.
Tuchel was sacked by the French club on Christmas Eve, four months after leading 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 have 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.”
The French champions only confirmed Tuchel’s exit on Tuesday due to legal disputes over severance pay, which will amount to around £ 5million.
Pochettino is expected to replace the German and take his first management job since his dismissal at Tottenham in November 2019.
The Argentine, who played for PSG from 2001 to 2003, said RMC Sport in 2016: “Coach one day at PSG, that would make me happy. It’s one of my dreams.
“It’s 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?”
Tuchel succeeded Unai Emery for a two-year contract in June 2018 and won two Ligue 1 titles as well as a Coupe de France and a Coupe de la Ligue.
The German contract ran until the end of the current campaign, having signed an extension last May, and he left Ligue 1 with a 75.6% win rate – the highest success rate for a coach in league history.
PSG striker Kylian Mbappe bade farewell to his former boss on Christmas Eve and said his tenure had been a “wonderful part of the club’s history”.
“Unfortunately, it is the law of football,” Mbappe wrote on Instagram. “No one will forget your time here. You have written a wonderful part of the club’s history and I thank you coach.”
“ Winning the main goal of CL Poch at PSG ”
French football journalist Jonathan Johnson said Sky Sports News that Pochettino’s entry to PSG will involve securing the long-term future of their star players, including Mbappe, while there will be little wiggle room for transfers in the January transfer window.
“Everyone will be very anxious to see what will be Pochettino’s first move as a PSG coach,” Johnson said. “There is not a budget as large as usual at PSG, with everything going on with Covid and also the economic situation in France with the collapse of the recent televised agreement.
“I don’t expect there to be a lot of big name moves – there are a few players who have played under Pochettino who have been linked with moves away from their clubs, Christian Eriksen to Inter Milan and Dele Alli at Tottenham Hotspur.
“But PSG’s priority right now is determining the future of their star players, like Neymar and Mbappe, so I don’t expect them to spend too much money in January, if at all.
“The decision was taken some time ago by PSG, and put into action this winter in a manner similar to the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti at the start of the era of Qatar Sports Investment.
“The feeling was that a change was needed and there were people like Kylian Mbappe who already took to social media and thanked Tuchel for what he gave him in his time as a coach.
“PSG’s main goal is to do better than last season and win the Champions League. So Pochettino’s ability to lead a team to the Champions League final, based on what he’s done with the Spurs, will count largely in his favor.
“I would like to stress that Pochettino will have the chance to add silverware to his cabinet very early in his career at PSG, as they will play at the Trophee des Champions very early in January.”