Nasser Al-Khelaïfi breaks the silence

End of the “bling-bling” era, return to “reality”: Paris SG begins a change of strategy eleven years after the arrival of QSI, assures President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi on Tuesday in an interview with Parisian, throwing his sights on Christophe Galtier rather than Zinedine Zidane.

The capital club, still disappointed by its failed European campaign, launched the big maneuvers for several weeks, with the extension in extremis of Kylian Mbappé acting as foundation and detonator.

Exit Leonardo, the sports director, welcome to Luis Campos, adviser in charge of the men’s section. The next departure concerns the very exposed position of coach, with Mauricio Pochettino on an ejection seat.

The name of the Argentinian, under contract until 2023, does not appear once in the interview granted by the boss of PSG who, after having been silent for a long time, expands on the new impetus wanted at the top of the club.

“The End of Glitter”

The creed? “The dream is one thing, the reality another. Perhaps we should also change our slogan… Dream Bigger (to dream bigger) is good but today, we must above all be realistic, we don’t wants more flashy, bling-bling, it’s the end of glitter”.

With this logic, Al-Khelaïfi claims to have “never” explored the Zidane hypothesis, a “fantastic player” and an “exceptional coach”, but who does not fit with the desired project, according to him.

“We chose another option. We chose a coach who will be the best for what we want to put in place,” said the 48-year-old manager, confirming the discussions held to attract Galtier. “I hope that we will find an agreement quickly but I respect Nice and the president (Jean-Pierre) Rivère, everyone defends their interests”.

Champion of France with Lille in 2021, the French technician is under contract until 2024 with OGC Nice, owned by the British oil group Ineos. Buying out his two years of contract could raise the bill to 10 million euros for PSG, according to the press, a tidy sum which would be added to any severance pay to be paid to Pochettino and his staff.

The collective at the heart

Project manager Luis Campos, inducted as “football adviser” on June 10, is responsible for building new foundations around Mbappé, whom he knew in Monaco, and Galtier, with whom he collaborated at LOSC.

“He inculcates the culture of work, giving the maximum every day”, analyzes Al-Khelaïfi. “We want players who like the club, who like to fight, who like to win” because “some took advantage of the situation, now it’s over!”, He insists.

In this sense, the future coach will have to “create a real team, find a real collective spirit”, he says, giving grain to grind to those who saw in the PSG team only a stack of stars, especially with Neymar and Lionel Messi.

The ex-sporting director Leonardo may have done an “incredible job”, he seems to be paying for this strategic reversal operated by the staff of PSG and its Qatari owners.

Al-Khelaïfi recognizes that the field of action of the Brazilian, whose departure has never been formalized, was perhaps too extensive.

“There will no longer be one person who will oversee the pros, training and the girls alone. Luis Campos will take care of the pros and only the pros. There will be a manager for training, there is a sports director for the girls,” he said.

In the meantime, the women’s section finds itself depopulated when its attacking star, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, reaches the end of her contract in June. The negotiations, bogged down, will have to settle in the days to come if Paris wants to keep its jewel.


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