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Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insists the club never approached Zinedine Zidane with an offer to become coach when he confirmed interest in appointing Nice’s Christophe Galtier.
Zidane has been heavily linked with PSG since leaving his post as Real Madrid boss last year, especially as Mauricio Pochettino struggled to reach the lofty goals set by club owners Qatar Sports Investments.
Pochettino missed the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title after taking over midway through the season, and although he led a star-studded collection of players to the French title the following campaign, he is generally expected to be sacked after another disappointing Champions League effort .
Pochettino has been under pressure since PSG’s dramatic 3-2 overall return to final winners Madrid in March, with Zidane hailed as a replacement, but Al-Khelaifi says he has never been an option.
“I love Zidane, he was an amazing player, of incredible class. Also a unique coach with three Champions Leagues, ”Al-Khelaifi told Le Parisien.
“But I want to tell you one thing: We have never talked to him, either directly or indirectly. Many clubs are interested in him, including national teams, but we have never talked to him.
“We have chosen a coach who will be the best at what we want to put in place.”
Al-Khelaifi confirmed that PSG’s number one goal is Galtier, the man who beat them to the 2020-21 title when he was in charge of Lille, and he hopes to boost him soon.
“We are discussing with Nice, it is not a secret,” Al-Khelaifi added. “I hope we find an agreement soon, but I respect Nice and the president [Jean-Pierre] Rivere, everyone is defending their interests. “
With Pochettino set to leave the Parc des Princes and sporting director Leonardo have been replaced by new football adviser Luis Campos, PSG are embarking on a significant rebuild after averting Madrid’s interest in tying Kylian Mbappe to a new contract last month.
The arrival of Lionel Messi last August ended an unprecedented recruitment promotion from the club in 2021, with Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi among their other important incomes.
Al-Khelaifi admits the club’s model needs to change as he called for an end to the “bling-bling” approach of signing big-name superstars to grow the club’s brand.
“The dream is one thing, reality another. Maybe we should also change our slogan … ‘Dream bigger’ is good, but today we must above all be realistic,” he added.
“We do not want more flashy bling-bling, that’s the end of glitter.”