Desperate to find a coach who will accept the once-coveted position of Paris Saint-Germain, the club’s owners, the princes who control Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, exhaust the long list of candidates they offer through rejections and silences. what in all of Europe is already given as an impossible mission: glory on the bench of the richest club in France. After Julian Nagelsmann said last Friday that he was not clear about the project, the catalog is reduced to two names: Luis Enrique and Thiago Motta.
The manifest skepticism of Nagelsmann, very pessimistic after learning that Kylian Mbappe would not renew his contract and could be transferred this summer, forced the club’s leaders to contact the former Spanish coach. according to the newspaper L’Equipe, the conversations with Luis Enrique were very advanced yesterday Sunday. This version was not confirmed by the coach’s agent, Ivan de la Pena. PSG sources warned that while they wait for Nagelsmann to swerve, the remaining pairing generates great anxiety among the leaders. On the one hand, they point out, Luis Enrique does not finish convincing Luis Campos, the sports director. Campos believes that Motta, who did an excellent job this season at Bologna in Serie A, has a more suitable profile. On the other, President Nasser al-Khelaifi fears that Motta lacks the media credentials and prestige that Champions League champion Luis Enrique exhibits. The Qatari president does not want to assume the responsibility that is demanded of the leaders when a technician without fame appears at the head of the failure. Al-Khelaifi fears risking stumbling again by betting on a coach without a brilliant record, as happened with the late Christophe Galtier.
A few days ago, Paris Saint-Germain commissioned an intermediary to probe Antonio Conte. The Italian coach with the most cachet on the market after Spalletti and Carlo Ancelotti, received the unofficial message of interest and his response was silence. “He was distracted by not being contemptuous,” explained a person close to the French club.
PSG is going through its worst identity crisis since it was bought by the Qatari sovereign fund in 2011. After the failure of the Neymar project —severely injured—, succeeded by the failure of the Messi project —fired with whistles—, the announcement that Kylian Mbappe did not want to renew his contract in 2024, the source of illusions has completely dried up. Conte’s reaction is a reflection of the response of all the coaches with a certain track record to whom the club has transferred a job offer. On the list are those who appeared as available over the last few months: Zidane, Pochettino, Spalletti, Nagelsmann, Gallardo, Conceicao… The last one is Luis Enrique, and Motta the penultimate.
The disinterest, or suspicion, that PSG inspires among the most qualified technicians, is an indication of exhaustion. If the signing of Neymar and Mbappe in the summer of 2017 became official with pomp typical of the culmination of an epic, the hiring of Messi in 2021 closed the tiara. The management ultimately chaired by the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, made the players and the media think that success was inherent to media impact. The great signings, however, were not enough to win the Champions League, the emir’s great objective. A more folkloric than military culture, inconceivable in high competition, took root under the mantle of Neymar and his entourage of sycophants. Neither Emery, nor Tuchel, nor Pochettino, much less Galtier, managed to overcome the inertia of dissipation and individualism that pervade the most heterodox dressing room of the great European football institutions. When Mbappe demanded a change of course in exchange for his renewal until 2024, the reformist policies barely had a formal scope.
Neymar, in danger
Of the six editions that the team played in the Champions League, in four they were eliminated in the round of 16, in 2021 they reached the semifinal, and in 2020 they lost the final against Bayern after a series of qualifiers without an audience organized in Portugal, as a tournament of summer, in the middle of a pandemic. Now the PSG employees confess that the confusion inside the house is unusual, among always denied rumors that Qatar wants to transfer the property.
Mbappe’s disappointment is only comparable to the void that Neymar leaves in the football heritage of the squad. The rupture of a ligament in the right ankle has placed the ten of Brazil in a limbo from which the doctors do not know if he will manage to get out whole. Doubts abound after the player’s operation in Doha. He has a contract until 2025 and charges more than 40 million net annually for all concepts. But at 31 years old, his body that suffers from him is the metaphor of the club that stood at his feet.
Jose Mourinho, Paris burns
Upon hearing that the owners of Paris Saint-Germain were examining the possibilities offered by the signing of Jose Mourinho for the first team bench, in a conversation held months ago, one of the most respected advisors to President Nasser al-Khelaifi raised the following question: “Do you remember the Notre Dame fire?”
The fire that seriously damaged the Paris cathedral on May 15, 2019 served as an analogy for this expert, when he tried to alarm Al-Khelaifi about the threat of introducing a man like Mourinho into a dressing room as volatile and capricious as the Parisian.
It was Luis Campos, sports director of PSG, who insisted on the hiring of the current Roma coach, upon payment of compensation to the Italian club. Campos assured – and continues to defend it – that Mourinho is the right man to give PSG the competitive character that it has never managed to develop under Qatari ownership. In the midst of an identity crisis, and in the face of the anguish generated in the owners by the fact of not finding coaches willing to take charge of an increasingly unpredictable institution, the possibility of signing a star like Mourinho resonated with music as a magical solution. Only some old advisers opposed it, but with enough weight to curb the most captivating impulses.
In France, Campos’s links with Jorge Mendes, Mourinho’s agent, are known. Neither of the two Portuguese has denied that there is a relationship, although both deny sharing identical business objectives. The conflict of interest is not proven, but it hangs over the club like a storm cloud, as exposed by Radio Monte-Carlo – the best-informed medium in French football – in its program on Saturday. “Sign up mou It would be the final touch for this delirium”, warned the old adviser to a club employee.
Al-Khelaifi was inhibited. The final lost by Mourinho’s Roma against Sevilla did not help Campos’ cause. But time passes and PSG still hasn’t secured a coach for next season. As long as Campos remains at the club, Mourinho will be in the chamber.
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Source: EL PAIS