In recent weeks, the media machine has been intensifying with regards to the rumours surrounding Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti’s future in the French capital. Famed Portuguese tactician Jose Mourinho appears to be the front-runner for the Parc des Princes job should the Italian move on, but nothing in certain yet.
In any event, seemingly outbound Real Madrid coach Mourinho has been talking up a move to France, but the speculation reached new intensity last week when Paris-based newspaper Le Parisien suggested that Ancelotti has “a handshake agreement” (h/t Ed Malyon of the Mirror) with the Spanish giants to take over from Mourinho in the summer.
Whilst Ancelotti denied the claims in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Marseille showdown on Sunday, it is not the first time this season that those rumours have surfaced.
If the proposed mega switch was to happen, though, what would Mourinho bring to PSG and Ligue 1?
Firstly, Mourinho should guarantee trophy triumphs. QSI want European success as soon as possible, and the Special One is synonymous with success. PSG want the best and most high-profile players and staff, and despite his struggles at Real Madrid, his stock remains relatively high.
To suggest that Ancelotti is not also synonymous with ultimate victory is foolish, given his glittering CV but, as suggested in the Le Parisien
Mourinho, though, arguably thrives in those conditions under the intense glare of the media spotlight, whereas Ancelotti, at times, reluctantly fulfills his media obligations and prefers to do his talking on the pitch.
Together, Ancelotti and sporting director Leonardo have built an already stellar squad at the Parc des Princes; Mourinho too, though, is famed for his team-building exploits.
But with the foundations of a super squad already in front of him, this time, he can focus on utilising his considerable man management skills to get the best out of the current side by making a few alterations.
Mourinho can handle big egos. He has his own very controversial methods of addressing team form, but he is not afraid to make what he sees as the right choices, no matter how contentious the decision.
Given PSG’s very public pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mourinho is one of the few managers who would likely be able to keep his compatriot in check.
It appears increasingly likely that the capital club will need to move for a new attacker come the summer with only three recognised strikers on the books currently.
Ronaldo’s arrival in Paris with or without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, though, would be an entirely separate issue.
Let’s face it. Part of PSG’s appeal now is the show that comes with the football. But the on-pitch exploits have to live up to the off-field fanfare.
The signing of David Beckham, whilst tentatively justified on the pitch following an encouraging cameo debut performance, has rocketed the club’s media presence to stratospheric proportions.
That media presence includes the Ronaldo (the not-so-fat Brazilian one) kick-offs, the likes of Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams' celebrity fanship as well as former France President Nicolas Sarkozy’s presence in the stands to watch games. Not to mention, there's the unveiling of a brand new snazzy logo to be used from next season; it's all geared toward the show.
Mourinho is arguably all about the show. In the Portuguese, PSG would have a coach as animated and entertaining as the players (questionable on a snowy night in Montbeliard) and his addition, given his status in football, would make les Parisiens a football equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters, a second coming of Real Madrid’s much-feted Galacticos.
Lastly, and a crucial point nonetheless, is the issue of communication. Despite the diverse range of languages spoken in the PSG dressing room, the emerging Brazilian contingent at the heart of the team makes Mourinho an ideal candidate to take control of this team if given the chance.
In no way am I saying that Ancelotti's communication with the hierarchy and players in Italian, French or English is not effective already. But sporting director Leonardo, captain Thiago Silva and key player Lucas Moura are all Brazilian as well as other first-teamers such as Maxwell, Thiago Motta (Italian international of Brazilian descent) and Alex.
Mourinho’s presence would add to that contingent, and no doubt, complement it further with more Samba talent or Portuguese arrivals.