Pochettino confirmed as PSG head coach
Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed that Mauricio Pochettino is their new head coach.
He has signed a deal with the club that runs until June 2022, with the option of an additional year.
Pochettino, who has been out of work since leaving Tottenham in November 2019, flew to Paris on Friday and will take his first training session with the players on Sunday.
His appointment had been widely anticipated but it is still considered something of a coup given that Manchester United and Real Madrid have long been linked with him.
“I am really happy and honoured to become the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain,” said Mauricio Pochettino after signing his contract.
‘PSG have a special place in my heart’ – Pochettino
The Argentine, meanwhile, arrives at the Parc des Princes a former player of the club. He was a centre-back during his playing days, turning out for PSG between 2001-03. The club, however, has been revolutionised since then.
He returns to a side that aspires to become European champions and seeks to sign the world’s biggest stars. Indeed, it is hoped that Pochettino’s presence can hope to persuade compatriot Lionel Messi to arrive from Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer. That is a deal that PSG are already priming themselves for.
“I would like to thank the club’s management for the trust they have placed in me. As you know, this club has always held a special place in my heart,” he said.
“I have wonderful memories, especially of the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes. I return to the Club today with a lot of ambition and humility, and am eager to work with some of the world’s most talented players.
“This team has fantastic potential and my staff and I will do everything we can to get the best for Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions. We will also do our utmost to give our team the combative and attacking playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Mauricio Pochettino as first team coach,” said Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the PSG president.
“I am proud to see our former captain returning to Paris Saint-Germain, as the club has always remained his home. The return of Mauricio fits perfectly with our ambitions and it will be another exciting chapter for the club and one I am positive the fans will enjoy. With the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino, Paris Saint-Germain is committed to continue to build and move the club forward over the coming years.”
The Ligue 1 side sacked Thomas Tuchel prior to Christmas, with the team trailing both Lyon and Lille domestically.
Tuchel, however, had carried PSG to the 2019/20 Champions League final and had won four major honours with the Parc des Princes side. His relationship with sporting director Leonardo, though, had long been strained.
Pochettino’s first match in charge arrives on Wednesday, when he will take his side to struggling Saint-Etienne. His home debut in the dugout arrives three days later against Brest.