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  • Writer's picturetonyogaga

Pochettino faces sack after Champions League ouster

MAURICIO POCHETTINO is reportedly set to be sacked as Paris Saint-Germain manager following the car-crash Champions League exit to Real Madrid.

The question now seems to be when rather than if the 50-year-old Argentine will be given the boot.

According to L'Equipe, it could happen immediately but it is more likely to be at the end of the season.

PSG are 13 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table and should claim a tenth crown.

They lost the Trophee des Champions - the equivalent of the Community Shield - and were knocked out of the Coupe de France by Nice on penalties.

However, leading 2-0 on aggregate with 30 minutes to go in the Bernabeu, they looked certain to progress past Real Madrid into the Champions League quarter-finals.

Karim Benzema had other ideas and pounced on PSG's errors and brain fog to fire in an incredible 17-minute hat-trick to fire the 13-time champions through.

European glory is the one thing PSG crave more than anything else having dominated French football in recent years.

A first European crown came close in 2020 when they reached the final but lost to Bayern Munich.

But with a devastating front three of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and summer-signing Lionel Messi, plus a host of other exciting transfers and Pochettino in charge for the full season, many expected 2021-22 to be their year.

Their fragilities reared their head once more, though, and all they will have to show for this season is another Ligue 1 success.

Poch must now give an explanation to club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who was reportedly raging on Wednesday night.

The manager said: "The present is all I can deal with.

"As for the future, what will be will be. We play to compete and to win.

"It's a hard blow to take but we have to keep a calm head now."

As pointed out by Le Parisien, early Champions League exits have generally led to major change at the club.

In 2017, they shattered the world record to buy Neymar, in 2018, Unai Emery was sacked and in 2019, Leonardo returned as sporting director.

A final and a semi-final followed but now more change is imminent.

That could be great news for Manchester United, though the Red Devils players want Poch as their new permanent boss to replace interim Ralf Rangnick in the summer.

However, the club's hierarchy - including new CEO Richard Arnold and Rangnick - are understood to prefer Erik ten Hag.

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