Friday 24 January 2020

PSG set to join Manchester United in race for the Jose Mourinho this summer

Jose Mourinho has all but confirmed that he will return to management in the summer
Jose Mourinho has all but confirmed that he will return to management in the summer

Mark Ogden

Manchester United could face competition from Paris Saint-Germain for Jose Mourinho this summer with Laurent Blanc’s future with the French champions under scrutiny following their Champions League elimination against Manchester City.

Despite signing a new two-year contract as PSG coach in February, Blanc admitted following Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium that ‘the buck stops with me’ after seeing the club fall at the quarter-final hurdle for the fourth successive campaign.

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi offered lukewarm backing to Blanc in the immediate aftermath of the City defeat, insisting that the former France coach ‘tried everything including a tactical gamble,’ before revealing that the club’s Qatari owners were ‘going to reflect in order to know how to go further in the competition.’

Mourinho’s availability following his departure from Chelsea last December has placed Blanc under greater threat, however, with PSG’s owners increasingly desperate to succeed in the Champions League.

Mourinho, who has won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, insisted at the weekend that he is ready to return to work this summer and although the Portuguese expressed a preference to remain in England and the Premier League, he has also previously admitted a desire to win titles in all of Europe’s major leagues.

Having won the league title in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, PSG’s domestic dominance would offer Mourinho the opportunity to complete a unique achievement by winning five different titles.

With the United hierarchy still undecided on the fate of Louis van Gaal, whose contract expires at the end of he 2016-17 season, Mourinho is understood to be growing restless at the lack of certainty over his next job.

And with PSG capable of offering Champions League football and a hugely lucrative contract at Parc des Princes should Blanc pay the price for the team’s ongoing European failure, United’s hopes of having a clear run to Mourinho could be compromised by the French club.

Blanc, meanwhile, accepts that his future is uncertain at PSG following the City defeat.

“Of course I am responsible,” Blanc said. “I put the team together, selected it, the strategy we use.

“When we win, it is the players. When we lose, I take responsibility.

 “We need to ask ourselves good questions and find answers as well.

“Some of the senior players are out of contract at the end of the season so we will have to look at that.

“We won’t do that now because we are so disappointed and angry because we really believed we could qualify.

“But ultimately, the buck stops with me.”

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