Pochettino, Qatar’s investment… The questions that arise after the fiasco

PSG’s new disappointment in the Champions League is causing changes within the club. Mauricio Pochettino should leave his post as coach at the end of the season, but what about Qatari shareholders’ investment?

Which end of the season?

Despite poor performances, PSG are heading for the tenth title in their Ligue 1 history. With 13 points clear of Nice, their second place 11 days before the end, the margin looks comfortable, even if nothing has been done mathematically yet. The possibility of not raising Hexagoal still exists, but everything will depend on the mental state of the staff after this unexpected disappointment. Another failure a year after he gave up his crown to Lille would be another earthquake. But it would be a disaster for that to happen, as Kylian Mbappe’s team-mates will meet just four teams from the current Top 10 (Marseille, Strasbourg, Monaco, Lens) to finish. Paris has been eliminated from the Coupe de France by Nice and has only the championship to play for. In a depressing atmosphere.

Pochettino, Leonardo… who’s leaving?

Mauricio Pochettino should no longer be PSG’s coach next season. In fact, the conditional seems redundant for the Argentinian despite an ongoing contract until 2023. Appointed in January 2021, he will show one of the worst records of Paris coaches under the Qatari era with a Champions Trophy, a Coupe de France and certainly a title of champion of France. This will fill his personal trophy cabinet, which was empty when he signed, but will not be enough to keep him in office (much like his successes against Barca and Bayern last season). He has a good rating abroad (Manchester United, Real Madrid…) and had spread the rumor of a possible departure last summer before doing so after long weeks of silence.

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Leonardo’s future also raises questions. The Brazilian returned as sports director in 2019 and, among other things, had the goal of extending Kylian Mbappé. He has not yet succeeded and the Paris elimination will not make his task any easier. The captain also struggled to sell during the transfer window and his recruitment of free stars last summer (Messi, Ramos, Wijnaldum, Donnarumma) is not paying off. The question about the future has not yet been asked.

What will Qatar decide?

The earthquake of this new elimination will have an impact on the head of the club. But what will Qatari investors decide, eleven years after their arrival, still devoid of Champions League victory? They had struck hard last summer by grabbing Lionel Messi to afford the sexiest frontline in the world…on paper. On the ground it’s a different story as Kylian Mbappe carries the team at a distance. This disillusionment with Real Madrid, representative of the old world (despite his desire for revolution with the Super League), is another humiliation given the colossal investments that have been made.

QSI is used to it by now and usually solves it by firing the coach. There is little doubt that Mauricio Pochettino will leave his post next summer. As indicated earlier, the situation of Leonardo, sporting director, will also be examined. And that of the Qataris? There is currently nothing to confirm that there is any doubt about their investment in the club, especially as major works are currently underway to create the new Poissy training centre. But changes are to be expected. Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, president since 2011, embodies the project, but also the disillusionment that comes with it. Again, there is currently nothing confirming that his position as president has weakened.

Which recruitment?

After this disappointment, all eyes remain on Kylian Mbappé. The fate of this double showdown could be the final blow to the future of the PSG striker – who shone in the double showdown. At the end of the contract next June in Paris, the French international still leaves room for doubt about his next destination. But the chances of a departure to Madrid have fallen further since Wednesday evening. If he were to join Real, Paris would have to look for a mate to replace him. The name Erling Haaland would then come back, even if the Norwegian seems to favor Spain or England.

Barring a new soap opera, Neymar will remain on, with a gold contract until 2025. Lionel Messi is also linked to Paris until 2023 with an extra option. What about goalkeeper management? Gianluigi Donnarumma criticized the evening when he appeared to be taking the lead in the hierarchy. Will Keylor Navas support this rotation for another season? What will also happen to his players with very comfortable salaries, but so little used (Kurzawa) or decisive (Icardi, Draxler)?