Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting director, Leonardo, has dismissed reports the club held initial talks with Zinedine Zidane about becoming their new head coach as “ridiculous”.
He has also confirmed the French club do not want to let current boss Mauricio Pochettino go to Manchester United, who regard the former Tottenham manager as their long-term first-choice.
Ralf Rangnick’s seemingly imminent appointment as United’s interim head coach until the end of the season is likely to quieten the noise around Pochettino for a few months, but Leonardo says PSG have no intention of letting him return to England.
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Reports have suggested discussions had begun with Zidane, who left Real Madrid for a second time in May, but Leonardo insists that has not happened.
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"We have a lot of respect for Zinedine Zidane, for what he did as a player and coach, but I can tell you very clearly that there is no contact and that no meeting with him has taken place,” he told AFP.
It's ridiculous to imagine that a meeting with Zinedine Zidane could have taken place in a big hotel in Paris in front of the eyes of everyone.
If United are to get Pochettino in the summer, Leonardo has indicated the Premier League club would have to fight for him.
"I think it's important to clarify the situation given the amount of false information circulating, Mauricio Pochettino is under contract with the club until 2023,” said the former Brazil international.
"We do not want Pochettino to leave. He never asked to leave and no club contacted us in relation to him.”
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