French football expert, Julien Laurens says Paris Saint-Germain need a better manager than Unai Emery, but they don’t want Arsene Wenger, they want Antonio Conte or Mauricio Pochettino.
Laurens was speaking to Mark Pougatch on the BBC 5 live’s Football Daily podcast, after PSG went out of the Champions League to Real Madrid.
In the end, it was a relatively limp effort, losing on the night when they were already behind from the first-leg.
The showing leaves Emery’s job in doubt, according to Laurens.
“They will certainly want a better coach than Unai Emery,” he said. “It’s quite clear Unai Emery is not going to be the PSG manager next season. I think someone like Antonio Conte would be on their shortlist, Mauricio Pochettino as well.”
Pougatch then asked whether the French club would consider Arsene Wenger, despite his current struggles.
“No, I don’t think he is there any more,” Laurens responded. “I think they tried twice in the past to get him. He obviously has a very close relationship with Nasser Al-Khelaifi the PSG chairman, who also is the chairman of Al Jazeera, the TV channel for which Arsene Wenger has worked for a long time.
“But he’s not any more in the running for the PSG job, no.”
On the pitch, you can understand why PSG might have more reservations now than they did in the past.
Back in 2004, everyone could see the manager’s coaching ability. Over the next few years he didn’t perform as well, but you could understand why, with Arsenal’s limited budget.
Now the club have more money to spend than ever, and their results are as worse than they’ve ever been. It’s more difficult to argue that Wenger could be successful at a big-spending club like PSG.
The other issue is the age of the candidates. Even Sir Alex Ferguson retired by 71, so if Wenger follows suit he only has a couple of years left in management.
By contrast, Mauricio Pochettino is 46, and Antonio Conte is 48. Either of them could lead a new era at PSG for years to come, if things go well.
Laurens could be wrong, but I think the signs suggest Wenger’s chance to manage PSG is now gone.