It appears that Paris Saint-Germain’s owners, Qatari Sports Investments, have narrowed down their list of candidates for the club’s new manager to two names. With the departure of Unai Emery nailed on for the summer, the club have cast their glance elsewhere in the search for a new tactician capable of advancing the club’s fortunes both domestically and continentally. According to the majority of reports on the soon-to-be vacancy, PSG are locked in negotiations with current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and, perhaps more realistically, the currently unemployed Thomas Tuchel.
Tuchel, the ex-Borussia Dortmund coach, departed the Westfalenstadion in 2017 after a series of well publicised disagreements with the club’s board, and has been compared to fellow compatriot Jurgen Klopp. When Tuchel first joined Dortmund, he conducted his transfer business quickly and to great effect, allowing the new acquisitions adequate time to bed into the squad. In came Gonzalo Castro and Julian Weigl, with both midfielders having already experienced football in the Bundesliga and instantly becoming the fulcrum of Dortmund’s new system, which had been implemented by their new manager.
However, after a trophy-less first season, Tuchel began to truly piece together a Dortmund side that mirrored his coaching philosophy. After lifting his first piece of silverware at the club, he was promptly dismissed just three days later. Having made his disgust at the departures of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ilkay Gundogan and Mats Hummels clear, Tuchel’s relationship with Dortmund’s hierachy became strained beyond repair.
But, as recent reports seem to hint towards, the German tactician may have just found his new project. Emery’s departure will allow Paris Saint-Germain’s helm to be unmanned, and Tuchel’s apparent hiring will present the manager with the opportunity to use the club’s significant resources and turn the Parisians into a true European force.
The club’s president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, has also cast his gaze over Massimiliano Allegri and Jose Mourinho, but the expectation at PSG is that neither of these will be procurable. The hope now is that Tuchel is able to take charge in the summer, and help the club’s hierarchy build towards their lofty continental ambitions.
Tuchel’s many plaudits in Germany came as a result of Dortmund providing the only real competition for Bayern Munich in the league, as well as leading his side to two cup finals whilst playing fast-paced, attacking football. Should the German arrive in France, he will be expected to prolong PSG’s dominance domestically. Unai Emery’s failure to beat Monaco to the Ligue 1 title last campaign cast a looming shadow over the Spaniard’s time at the Parc des Princes, despite his success in leading Sevilla to a hat-trick of Europa League triumphs, although his successor will be judged on juggling both success in France and the Champions League.
Since PSG’s Qatari owners invested in the club in 2011, the team have failed to reach the last eight of Europe’s most elite competition. Their unprecedented collapse against Barcelona last season caused reports to emerge of Emery’s immediate sacking, although these eventually were discovered to be false. However, the 4-0 home triumph over the Spanish giants is an indicator for what PSG would be capable of under the steady hands of a new, elite tactician.
In these early stages, the signs are all positive for Tuchel. He will be awarded a significant amount of financial power to mould the PSG side into his image and, considering the pulling power that the club possesses, the German should have no problems with attracting some of the sport’s biggest names to the City of Lights.
In the unlikely scenario that Tuchel decides not to, or fails to, bring in his transfer targets, then the squad already available to him should be more than capable of another Ligue 1 triumph next year and a better run in the Champions League. Of course this will depend on whom PSG draw in each round, but considering the financial might backing the team, the club should be achieving better – this season’s limp exit to Real Madrid once again providing the Parisians’ evident weaknesses against the continent’s elite.
Whether or not PSG opt to hire Tuchel in the summer still remains to be seen, but regardless of the identity of the new manager the club have all the resources in place to become a true European powerhouse for many years to come – it appears they just need the right leader at the forefront to lead them into the future. Could Tuchel be the man?