Paris Saint-Germain is beginning to gather the names of potential replacements for manager Unai Emery, and Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte apparently top the French behemoth's list.
Another early elimination from the Champions League on Tuesday – this time at the hands of Real Madrid in the round-of-16 stage – ended Emery's hopes of extending his contract beyond its expiration this summer, according to ESPN's Jonathan Johnson.
And a change at the helm could be made sooner rather than later after Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar and founder of the consortium that owns Paris Saint-Germain, left the Parc des Princes before the 2-1 second-leg defeat to Los Blancos concluded. The notion of having an interim manager has been mooted, with assistants Maxwell and Zoumana Camara linked to a short-term role.
Pochettino has long been admired by the PSG hierarchy due to his exploits in England in charge of Southampton and, most notably, Tottenham Hotspur. Some sources told Johnson that a move for the Argentinian seems to be inevitable, and a bond already exists between Pochettino and PSG through his work in the club's defence between 2001 and 2003.
Conte is also on club president and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi's radar due to his ability to draw short-term success. The Italian's relationship with his employers at Chelsea has been under question this season as he oversees a limp Premier League title defence, and has been quoted questioning the club's ambition and transfer policy.
Outside bets to replace Emery are Andre Villa-Boas and Carlo Ancelotti. Sporting director Antero Henrique is reportedly keen on the former, but his own post at the club could be untenable as the continental failure threatens a shake-up at various levels. If Henrique leaves, that could usher in Ancelotti's return due to the decorated manager wanting a greater say in transfers than he experienced in his first tenure, which ended in 2013.
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