Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has officially ruled out the prospect of Zinedine Zidane managing the club next season.
The former Real Madrid boss has been considered one of the top candidates to take over from Mauricio Pochettino, who is set to depart in the coming days.
Zidane stepped down from his Santiago Bernabeu post for a second time in 2021 and was heavily linked with the Manchester United job before the Red Devils moved for Erik ten Hag.
PSG were rumoured to have an agreement in place for Zidane to take over at the Parc des Princes, but the 49-year-old’s advisor emphatically denied that such a deal existed.
“All of these rumours which are going around are unfounded. To this day, I am the only person who is authorised to represent and advise Zinedine Zidane. Neither Zinedine Zidane nor myself have been directly contacted by the owner of PSG,” Zidane’s advisor told L’Equipe.
“I also highly doubt that his majesty the Emir of Qatar, Cheikh Tamin Ben Hamad Al Thani, would go through social media or media in order to manager his business and take crucial decisions with regard to PSG’s future. I’m not even sure if he’s really interested in Zidane arriving.”
Speaking to Marca, Al-Khelaifi also denied making contact with the three-time Champions League-winning coach, saying: “I just want to make it clear that I liked Zidane as a player and I like him as a coach, but we haven’t spoken to him directly or indirectly, ever.”
The PSG president further explained to Le Parisien that the club would not be appointing Zidane as their new head coach, with the French champions instead expected to move for Nice’s Christophe Galtier.
“We chose a different option other than Zidane. We have chosen a manager who will be better for what we are trying to put together,” Al-Khelaifi told the publication.
While Pochettino led the capital side to the 2021-22 Ligue 1 title with four games to spare last season, the 50-year-old’s outfit suffered another Champions League capitulation in the last-16 stage against Real Madrid.
Nice also ended PSG’s defence of their Coupe de France crown, and Pochettino’s tenure in the hotseat is therefore expected to come to an end after one-and-a-half seasons.
The former Tottenham Hotspur boss prepares to depart with a record of 56 wins, 13 draws and 15 defeats from his 84 games in charge, winning three pieces of silverware in total.
PSG are now understood to be closing in on the appointment of Galtier to succeed Pochettino after the Frenchman’s Lille side pipped Les Parisiens to the Ligue 1 title in 2020-21.
Galtier helped steer Nice into the Europa Conference League playoff round with a fifth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season, and PSG are reportedly set to pay €10m (£8.5m) to buy him out of his Aiglons contract.