Reports this week suggest that Paris Saint-Germain have made ‘approaches’ for three top Premier League managers to take the reigns at the Parc des Princes, bosses of Swansea, Chelsea and Arsenal - But didn't they really want the new Chelsea boss?
Current boss Carlo Ancelotti looks increasingly likely to swap the French capital for the Spanish capital where he is widely reported as being the man to take charge of Real Madrid, following the departure of Jose Mourinho.
The former Los Blancos manager has made his long-awaited return to Stamford Bridge this month, as he was unveiled as the man to take charge of the future at Chelsea.
Ancelotti, another former Blues boss, is expected to be appointed as Mourinho’s replacement at the Bernabeu this summer and, subsequently, PSG are on the look out for a quality manager to come in to the Ligue 1 champions’ post.
PSG have reportedly ‘approached’ Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas with a four-year contract worth £10 million. Friday’s back pages, however, claim Swansea coach Michael Laudrup is also a target of theirs and all of this comes in the wake of speculation the French champions were chasing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for months on end.
All of this speculation, if any of it is in fact based even vaguely on truth, indicated one thing above all else to me: Paris Saint-Germain were hoping to sign Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese special one had been linked in recent months with Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and PSG.
Upon the announcement that former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola would take the reigns at the Bundesliga and European champions, Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement and David Moyes was revealed as his replacement, Roberto Mancini was fired, Rafael Benitez was always regarded as ‘interim’ at Chelsea and Real Madrid wanted rid of Mourinho.
The double Champions League winning manager was likely the primary target for PSG who would have hoped they could effectively swap like-for-like with Real Madrid. But, it seems, Mourinho had other ideas – his return to Chelsea leaves the Parisians in a bit of a jam now.
Whilst Manchester City have yet to officially confirm Manuel Pellegrini as their new boss, it is understood he will leave Malaga for Manchester imminently. That leaves PSG as the only one of the aforementioned clubs not to have a ready replacement and that, I believe, is why all the sudden rumours of the ‘next best thing’ managers have emerged.
I’m not convinced that Villas-Boas, Laudrup or even Wenger would ever have been their top target to take over from Ancelotti. Villas-Boas has an impressive CV but he’s only been at White Hart Lane for a year and his reputation was left somewhat tarnished by his brief stint at Chelsea.
Laudrup won the Capital One Cup with the Swans this term but his credentials of managing at the highest level are not really all that convincing yet – he has no experience of Champions League football management and Swansea finished 9th in the Premier League.
Whilst he was undoubtedly one of the most gifted players to ever play the game, he’s only just begun his ascendency in management and he needs to improve in order to ensure he’s ready for that ‘big move’.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger is now the Premier League’s longest-serving manager and his commitment to honour, at the very least, the remaining year of his contract with Arsenal has never really been in question.
All the signs point to PSG now scrambling for an adequate replacement for Ancelotti who, by the looks of things, was expected to play 'swapsies' with Jose Mourinho. Unfortunately for the French champions Mourinho didn't want to play that game.
image: © tpower1978