While the £198million signing of Neymar this summer may have seemed like the best thing ever to happen to Paris Saint-Germain, it has come with a few unforseen complications.
After a high-profile spat with Edinson Cavani earlier in the season over who should be taking PSG’s penalties, there have been reports of dressing room tensions and divisions swirling around the Brazilian forward.
Neymar has repeatedly denied rumours about his behaviour and even cried in frustration during a recent press conference – not that his tears have helped quell the media gossip – with the latest reports suggesting that PSG are ready to sack manager Unai Emery over his failure to rein in Neymar and co. over their huge egos.
READ MORE: Mourinho’s PSG courtship damaging United
READ MORE: Exclusive – PSG ready to sack Emery
Were PSG to sack Emery – reportedly with a view to enticing Jose Mourinho away from Manchester United in the summer – who could they replace him with for the rest of the season? Here are three managerial candidates who, with a bit of luck, could handle Neymar and PSG.
Tuchel would be a progressive appointment, but then that was what Unai Emery was supposed to be. Having spent two years at Borussia Dortmund and coached some fantastic football out of the Westfalenstadion team – only winning the German Cup in the meantime, it should be said – Tuchel would be the thinking man’s choice for the Parisiens.
There are two problems with his candidacy, however. The first is that he left Dortmund under something of a cloud, this after a falling out with the club hierarchy. Known to speak his mind and have energetic methods on the training ground, Tuchel is not necessarily the calming presence and peacemaker that PSG need. There is also the question of whether he would want the PSG job on a short-term basis, with the timeframe for him to impose his methods hardly ideal.
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Having spent the last three seasons managing Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League, Scolari should have no such qualms about managing PSG in the short term. His spell in China was hardly short on silverware with Guangzhou winning three titles in a row, and he’s unlikely to get another chance to manage a European superclub and contest the knockout stages of the Champions League.
READ MORE: The truth about Neymar’s PSG problems
READ MORE: Win tickets to West Brom v Chelsea
READ MORE: Mane returns to Liverpool with injury
Scolari’s main selling point is his relationship with Neymar, who he coached and mentored as Brazil manager from 2012 to 2014. While he may well be able to control the £198million man better than Unai Emery, this is also the man who presided over Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany at the 2014 World Cup – considering that they blew a four-goal lead over Barcelona in Europe last season, PSG may well be wary of a spectacular repeat.
There would be a satisfying circularity to Carlo Ancelotti returning to manage PSG until the summer. It would represent a mirror image of the situation at Bayern Munich, where Ancelotti was replaced on an interim basis by Jupp Heynckes earlier in the season. Ancelotti kicked off the modern era at PSG when he won only their third ever league title in 2012-13, making him a legend there despite later jumping ship to Real Madrid – a club with its fair share of egos where he won the Champions League for the third time in his managerial career.
He’s been widely touted as the next coach of the Italian national team, however, and the call of the mighty Azzurri may well drown out the coaxing overtures of PSG.