Paris Saint-Germain beat Lyon 1-0 on Sunday to claim their first Ligue 1 championship in 19 years, but with their manager and best player each pondering exits, it looks as though the club could be in for a tumultuous summer.
In his Saturday press conference PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti strangely admitted to feeling “hesitant” about his future plans, telling reporters that while he acknowledges there are “a lot of rumours” he would not be sitting down with the club’s decision-makers until the following week. (L’Equipe)
But on Monday afternoon PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi revealed Real Madrid had made an approach for Ancelotti and that he had “discussed” the matter with representatives from the Spanish giants. (Guardian)
He added, “I don’t have any plan to meet [Ancelotti] because he has a contract. Now it’s time to celebrate and to enjoy the [championship].”
Ancelotti, 53, has long been linked with the Madrid job, which is expected to become vacant in a matter of weeks if current boss Jose Mourinho returns to Premier League side Chelsea.
The Italian manager's contract expires at the end of next season, however, so if PSG are hoping for some compensation in exchange for their manager it’s likely they’ll negotiate an exit plan following the club’s final match of the campaign on May 26.
Then there is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Late last month Gazzetta dello Sport reported Juventus were prepared to offer the PSG striker a four-year contract worth €7 million per season (Eurosport), and during the team’s title celebrations on Sunday the Swedish international lost his temper with sporting director Leonardo, yelling that the Brazilian was “always ruining everything.” (L’Equipe)
Ibrahimovic spent seven years in Italy with a stint at Barcelona in between before moving to PSG last summer, and while the moneybags Ligue 1 side gave him a massive wage increase, his agent recently told Sky Sport Italia that Italy remained the 31-year-old’s “second home.”
Should both Ancelotti and Ibrahimovic depart in the summer, the PSG project could conceivably be thrown into disarray.
On the playing side, Ibrahimovic seemed to be the player the club’s Qatari owners intended to build around when they acquired him from AC Milan last July.
His exit would leave a considerable hole in the attack, and with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani planning to move elsewhere, the newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions would be unlikely to fill it adequately.
Ancelotti, meanwhile, accomplished the near-impossible task of turning a cobbled-together squad of big-money, big-ego players into not only title winners but also Champions League contenders in the space of 17 months.
He developed a system that seemed to work for the talent available to him and incorporated the likes of Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura and Ezequiel Lavezzi into his setup with relative ease.
Should he leave Paris in the next few weeks, whether for Madrid or somewhere else, the PSG project will be back to square one as far as its coaching staff is concerned