Paris Saint-Germain has allegedly identified Jose Mourinho as the man who can take the club forward next season. The Portuguese manager has been out of work since being sacked by Chelsea earlier this year.
According to a report in Sky Sports this week, PSG are sounding out the former Real Madrid manager as the club looks to find a way to parlay its domestic dominance into European success.
The French club crashed out of the quarterfinals of the Champions League earlier this month, after being eliminated by Manchester City over two legs. The elimination was seen as falling short for the club that despite having won its fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title, still desperately craves success on the European stage.
The PSG project as we’ve known for the past several years, has largely revolved around striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But with the Swede rumored to be on the verge of departing this summer, PSG is likely to do some rebuilding in the off-season.
Mourinho, despite being linked with the Manchester United job, could be an interesting option for Les Parisiens. While it’s doubtful that the manager who was won titles in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and England truly covets the Ligue 1 title, the chance to bring a European trophy back to Paris for the first time since PSG won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1996, could interest Mourinho.
PSG’s pockets are among the deepest of any club’s in Europe. Should Ibrahimovic leave, the club will have no problem paying above market value for a player to replace him. Cristiano Ronaldo, who Mourinho coached at Real Madrid, has continually been linked with a move to the City of Light.
Edinson Cavani, Ibrahimovic’s on-again, off-again strike partner at PSG, has also been rumored to be on the way out. But replacements for the club’s two marquee strikers won’t be hard to come by for a club of PSG’s resources. However, the challenge for any manager going forward at the club will be to get its assemblage of over-priced stars to play like a cohesive unit when it matter – at the business end of the Champions League. While winning Ligue 1 year after year is nice for the club, it’s to the detriment of French football as a whole. Being the sole superpower in perhaps the greatest of Europe’s second-tier leagues isn’t necessarily helping the Parisian’s cause in Europe either.
By the time PSG faced Man City in the Champions League, the club had already officially been French champions for a number of weeks. While the overall quality of French domestic football is unlikely to improve much this summer, PSG needs a manager who can keep the players motivated and working together as a sum that’s greater than its individual parts.
Otherwise, PSG will continue to struggle in its quest to go toe-to-toe with the Barcelonas and Bayern Munichs of the world. Mourinho, if the rumor holds any substance, could be the manager who could take PSG to that next level.