Paris Saint-Germain will appoint Christophe Galtier as the team’s new manager in the coming days. The PSG hierarchy will pay current head coach Mauricio Pochettino and his staff members a total of $16 million to end their contracts one year earlier than supposed. The official announcement of Pochettino’s departure is expected on Thursday.
Nice will be paid $10.5 million to cover Galtier’s release clause. The 55-year-old had only joined last year and guided Nice to fifth place in the League. The 12-month stint on the French Riviera followed an impressive four-year stay at Lille that ended with a Ligue 1 title in 2021. Previously, Galtier spent almost eight years as Saint-Etienne’s boss.
Before closing in on Galtier, PSG offered the job to Zinedine Zidane. According to reports, the former Real Madrid manager hopes to become France manager at the end of the year if Didier Deschamps departs after the World Cup.
Even though president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had Zidane as his first option, the newly appointed PSG sporting director Luis Campos preferred Galtier, whom he worked with at Lille. Campos replaced Leonardo this summer at Parc des Princes. His first important move on the transfer market could be the acquisition of Portuguese star Renato Sanches. The 24-year-old impressed in Lille’s shirt and has Galtier among his admirers as well.
Zinedine Zidane will NOT be new PSG manager, confirmed. Al-Khelaifi now announces: “We have decided for an other option as new manager – the best option for our tactical idea”, tells Le Parisien. 🚨🇫🇷 #PSG
The new manager will be Christophe Galtier, work in progress. pic.twitter.com/CHYeylR24Q
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 21, 2022
Galtier’s tough challenge in Paris awaits
Tuchel and Pochettino both struggled with the task of creating a playing identity for PSG. Despite reaching the Champions League final in 2020, Tuchel was sacked months later and joined Chelsea, only to lead them to the supreme continental crown in 2021.
Pochettino, who also spent time at PSG during his playing days, was always a fan favorite in Paris. In the eyes of the PSG board, he was unable to get the best out of a team that was bursting with quality. The Paris giants went out early from the Champions League as early as the round of 16 and they were also eliminated from the French Cup, making a domestic double impossible. The French title served as little consolation, with Pochettino eventually paying the price for the team’s failures.
PSG stands at -1000 to win another league next season, with second-favorite Marseille at +1100. Lyon comes third at +1400. Galtier’s challenge will come in the Champions League, where he competed in just six group games with Lille in the 2019-20 season without winning any. His side won just a point after a 1-1 draw with Valencia, losing the other five matches (0-2 and 0-3 against Ajax, 0-2 and 1-2 vs Chelsea, 1-4 in the return match against Valencia).
Despite Galtier’s record, PSG is third-favorite to win the Champions League this season in the bookies’ views. The French sit at +600 to lift the trophy, only behind Manchester City at +300 and Liverpool at +500. Bayern is behind PSG in the odds race at +650, as is Real Madrid at +1000.