Zidane Now Edges Closer to Joining PSG as Coach

Zinedine Zidane is on the verge of replacing Mauricio Pochettino as coach of French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

According to radio station Europe 1, the club and Zidane, 49, have reached an agreement in principle for the former Real Madrid manager to join ahead of the new season.

A PSG source refused to confirm or refute the reports when contacted by AFP.

Pochettino, who has a year left on his contract, led the Qatar-backed team to the Ligue 1 title last season, but they were eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16 by Real Madrid.

The club’s Qatari owners are anxious to win European club football’s top championship, and between 2016 and 2018, Zidane led the Spanish giants to the title three times in a row.

Zidane won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2002 after winning the World Cup with France in 1998.

He coached Real Madrid for two stints, winning a hat-trick of Champions Leagues, one La Liga title, two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, and a Spanish Super Cup in the first.

He left Real in 2018, but was rehired in March 2019 and went on to win another La Liga title in 2020, before leaving again the following year.

Zidane was in Paris at the same time as Qatar’s Emir for Real’s victory against Liverpool in the Champions League final at the Stade de France last month.

PSG had previously announced the arrival of Luis Campos as their new football advisor, replacing Leonardo.

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The 57-year-old Portuguese super-scout was part of the Monaco team that beat PSG to the title in 2017 and is familiar with Kylian Mbappe, who was making his name in the principality at the time.

Campos then moved on to Lille, where he helped construct a club that finished second to PSG in Ligue 1 last season before departing.

“I am delighted to be joining Paris Saint-Germain, which I consider is the most ambitious and exciting club in world football,” Campos said in a PSG statement.

“I believe strongly in and share the vision of the club and I cannot wait to get started to further unleash the great potential of this exceptional club.”

On the weekend of August 6 and 7, the new French top-flight season began.

PSG will face French Cup winners Nantes in the Trophee des Champions, the customary season-opener in France, in Tel-Aviv, Israel, a week before that.

AFP

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