Report: PSG Trying to Convince Zinedine Zidane to Become Manager, Replace Pochettino

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2022

FILE - In this In this file photo dated March 8, 2020, Real Madrid's head coach Zinedine Zidane sits at the bench during La Liga soccer match in Seville, Spain. Zinedine Zidane is again stepping down as Real Madrid coach. The club says the Frenchman is leaving his job. It comes four days after a season in which Madrid failed to win a title for the first time in more than a decade. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti, File

Paris Saint-Germain is reportedly "trying to convince" legendary French midfielder Zinedine Zidane to replace Mauricio Pochettino as its manager ahead of the 2022-23 season.

ESPN's Julien Laurens reported Friday that PSG and Zidane, who spent four years leading the Real Madrid coaching staff across two stints (2016-18 and 2019-21), are "not close to an agreement" despite speculation a deal is done.

While Zidane is viewed as an ideal candidate to guide a star-studded squad led by Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar, the 49-year-old Marseille native is "keen" on eventually taking over France's national team, per Laurens.

In turn, PSG is considering a contract offer that would include the ability for Zidane to leave the club whenever Didier Deschamps steps away from Les Bleus, whether that's after the 2022 FIFA World Cup or Euro 2024, according to ESPN.

Zidane helped lead France to the 1998 World Cup title, the same year he captured the Ballon d'Or as part of a decorated career that was headlined by stops with Juventus and Real Madrid.

He enjoyed similar success during his time as Los Blancos manager.

Real Madrid captured 11 trophies during his two tenures, including three straight UEFA Champions League titles beginning in 2016 and La Liga championships in 2017 and 2020.

Paris Saint-Germain is coming off a 2021-22 term where it won Ligue 1 for the eighth time in the past 10 years, but the club's other results were underwhelming, including a UCL exit in the round of 16 against Real Madrid.

Pochettino was hired by PSG in January 2021. His current contract runs through June 2023.

The 50-year-old Argentine, who's also coached Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, joked Monday in an interview with Spanish outlet Esport3 (via Goal's James Westwood) the speculation about his future no longer comes as a surprise.

"I have one year left on my contract and there are a lot of rumors. Every week I am fired," Pochettino said. "PSG arouses this kind of thing. The club is trying to reinvent itself. The president will soon explain his new project, but I'm calm."

PSG's first competitive match of the new season will come July 31 when they face off with Nantes in the 2022 Trophee des Champions.