Zidane is close to joining PSG as a coach

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane

File photo: Soccer Football – Champions League – Round of 16 First Leg – Atlanta vs Real Madrid – Stadio Atleti Azzurri, Bergamo, Italy – February 24, 2021 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane Reuters / Alberto Lingua /

French champions Paris Saint-Germain are close to reaching an agreement to replace Mauricio Pochettino as Zinedine Zidane’s coach, French media reported on Friday.

According to Radio Station Europe 1, the club and the 49-year-old Zidane have reached an agreement in principle for the former Real Madrid boss before the new season.

When contacted by AFP, a source in the PSG declined to confirm or deny the report.

Pochettino has one year left on his contract and the Qatari-backed team won the Ligue 1 title last season but was knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in the last 16.

The club’s Qatari owners are desperate to win the European Club Football Premier League and Zidane guided the Spanish giants to the trophy for three consecutive seasons between 2016 and 2018.

Zidane, who won the World Cup with France in 1998, won the Champions League in 2002 as a player for Real.

As a coach he had two spells in charge of Madrid, winning a Champions League hat-trick in his first term as well as a La Liga title, two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and a Spanish Super Cup.

He left Real in 2018 but was re-appointed in March 2019 and won another La Liga title in 2020 before leaving again the following year.

Zidane was in Paris as Emir of Qatar in last month’s Champions League final, which Real won against Liverpool.

Earlier, the PSG announced the arrival of Luis Campos as their football adviser in place of the departed Leonardo.

The 57-year-old Portuguese super-scout formed the Monaco team that denied the PSG title in 2017 and knew Kylian Mbappe well and at the same time the striker was rising to the throne.

Campos then became a behind-the-scenes genius in Lille, helping them build a team that said goodbye to the PSG before the League 1 crown last year.

“I am delighted to be joining Paris Saint-Germain, which I consider to be one of the most ambitious and exciting clubs in world football,” Campos said in a PSG statement.

“I strongly believe and share the club’s vision and I can’t wait to start unveiling the huge potential of this exceptional club.”

The new French top-flight season begins on the weekends of 6 and 7 August.

A week earlier, champions PSG would play French Cup winners Nantes in the traditional French season-lifting Trophy des Champions in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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