Mauricio Pochettino’s relationship with Paris Saint-Germain chief Leonardo ‘irreparably damaged’ and one WILL GO this summer, talkSPORT told amid Tottenham return rumours


The relationship between Mauricio Pochettino and Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo is ‘irreparably damaged’ and one of the men will leave the club this summer.

That’s according to French football expert Philippe Auclair, who joined talkSPORT to reveal the latest news over the rumours on Pochettino’s future and a possible return to Tottenham.

Pochettino’s future at PSG is the topic of rampant speculation

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Pochettino’s future at PSG is the topic of rampant speculation

Numerous reports have suggested the Argentine is open to coming back to Spurs this summer with Daniel Levy realising his mistake in sacking him in November 2019 after five years in charge.

It is claimed Pochettino and Levy still have a good relationship and the PSG boss has previously claimed he would be open to a return to north London one day.

The 49-year-old took charge of the French giants in January. He has picked up two trophies but PSG were well beaten by Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals and lost the Ligue 1 title to Lille.

He is under contract at PSG until June 2022, but latest reports claim Pochettino has actually asked to leave the French giants after just six months in charge.

Auclair revealed to talkSPORT the coach has already developed a prickly relationship with PSG chief Leonardo over the Brazilian’s control at the Parc des Princes, and one WILL leave this summer.

However, he explained why that is actually more likely to be Leonardo than Pochettino.

Leonardo has been sporting director at PSG for nearly ten years

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Leonardo has been sporting director at PSG for nearly ten years

The ex-Brazil international was first appointed at PSG in 2011 and after leaving for one year in the same role at AC Milan, he returned to the club in 2019. He is responsible for PSG’s major transfer decisions as well as players contracts, and has infamously fallen out with a number of previous managers.

But, after a week which saw two of those coaches crowned European title winners as Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea won the Champions League and Unai Emery’s Villarreal lifted the Europa League, Auclair says PSG’s Qatari owners could make a change.

“The relationship between Mauricio Pochettino and Leonardo is basically irredeemably broken,” the French football reporter told talkSPORT.

“So, there cannot be a situation in which Pochettino stays and Leonardo stays, that’s where we are at the moment.

“There have been some very heated exchanges between the two and Pochettino has not exactly appreciated the fact that a lot of the affairs of the team have been overseen by Leonardo, including contracts extensions.

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“At the same time, Leonardo has been on French radio telling that Pocehttino still had two years to run on his contract, which came as a surprise to everybody as we thought he’d signed an 18 month contract in December, so had one year left. But apparently there might have been an extension clause that was triggered.

“But, after what happened last week when you had two former PSG managers win the Champions League and the Europa League, I’m not absolutely sure Leonardo is perhaps in the best of positions to have any problems with these Qatari owners, who are really the ones pulling the strings.

“It would not have escaped their attention that the manager Leonardo fell out with so spectacularly after he took them to the Champions League final [Thomas Tuchel] went back to that final and won it with another team, which does not have stars like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in its ranks.

“So you shouldn’t think Leonardo has got such an incredibly good relationship with the owners that he is going to survive any of this crisis – this is not the case.”

Zidane has been linked with the PSG job if Pochettino leaves, but talkSPORT has been told that is unlikely to happen

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Zidane has been linked with the PSG job if Pochettino leaves, but talkSPORT has been told that is unlikely to happen

Pochettino has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane left the Spanish giants for the second time at the end of the season.

France legend Zidane has since been linked with replacing Pochettino in the PSG dugout, as part of the managerial merry-go-round that is expected to shake up the top echelon of European football this summer.

But Auclair explained that’s not likely and that PSG don’t want the Tottenham-linked boss to go.

“There have been some wild rumours going about with Zidane leaving his position at Real Madrid and the comments he’s made about that,” he added.

“Some people have thought, ‘can he go to PSG if Pochettino left?’

“But the answer to that is a resounding, ‘no’. He wouldn’t.

“PSG have some of the cards in their hands. Pochettino is still under contract and if they refuse his resignation they have every power to do that.

Pochettino has won two trophies at PSG but has experienced plenty of setbacks

AFP

Pochettino has won two trophies at PSG but has experienced plenty of setbacks

“But you have to see what’s going on more with the internal struggle within PSG, which is one of the most dysfunctional clubs you can think of, rather than a manager absolutely wanting to go back to a club he thinks he’s got unfinished business with.

“PSG certainly don’t want to get rid of Pochettino, they know they have a very fine manager, so they’re not going to deal with him in the way they might have dealt with some of his predecessors.

“And that’s why I’m saying at this moment in time, if someone leaves PSG this summer it’s more likely to be Leonardo than Pochettino.

“But, obviously, this could change!”





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