Paris Saint-Germain have appointed Thomas Tuchel as their new coach, replacing the departing Unai Emery, the French champions announced on Monday.
Tuchel was most recently the coach at Borussia Dortmund, but parted ways in May 2017 amid reported disagreements with the club hierarchy despite guiding the club to the DFB Pokal title three days earlier.
The 44-year-old has been linked to the job for weeks, as sources told ESPN FC in March that owner Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani decided upon Tuchel as Emery’s replacement because he can speak French fluently and has always preferred an attacking style of play.
Emery succeeded Laurent Blanc at PSG in June 2016 after spending parts of four seasons coaching Sevilla, but consecutive exits in the Champions League round of 16 — first to Barcelona, then to Real Madrid — convinced the club hierarchy that he was not worthy of an extension on his two-year contract.
And while Emery, 46, had been expected for weeks to leave the club following the season, it was not until late last month that he acknowledged having met with chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Antero Henrique to finalise his departure.
“If the new coach needs something from me, I can offer my opinion,” Emery said at the time. “PSG’s project is very solid, and it will continue to grow and add major players. The next coach, whoever it is, will find a big club, with big opportunities — I am there to offer some help.”
Tuchel, who replaced Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at both Mainz in 2009 and Dortmund in 2015, reportedly turned down an offer to replace Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Dortmund this summer.
He was chosen by PSG over a list of candidates reported to have included Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, Chelsea’s Antonio Conte, Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino — a former PSG captain as a player — and Andre Villas-Boas.
His task will be to manage a dressing room full of high-profile personalities while working within a well-defined club hierarchy, but captain Thiago Silva said on Sunday that he thinks Tuchel is up to the task.
“He is a coach a little from our school,” Silva said at the Ligue 1 awards in Paris. “He is German but with a Brazilian way of thinking about the game. That will help us plenty.
“He likes plenty of order? In the world of football, a bit of order is necessary. If he arrives with the mentality that many have spoken about, he will add a lot.”