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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Pressure mounting: Ancelotti turns a blind eye to exit rumours

The Paris Saint-Germain manager could be out of a job be sooner rather than later if reports in the French media are to be believed.

Image: Christophe Ena/AP/Press Association Images

PARIS SAINT GERMAIN’S beleaguered Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti says he is unaware of media reports that say the former Champions League winner could be out of a job by Christmas.

“I haven’t read the papers,” said the 53-year-old former Juventus, AC Milan and Chelsea boss.

“I don’t know what they are saying,” he added after a poor run of domestic form that has seen them slip to fourth spot in the table and five points behind pacesetters Lyon following a 2-1 defeat away to Nice on Saturday and a midweek League Cup elimination at Saint Etienne.

The Qatari-backed club and their president Nasser al-Khelaifi are growing increasingly impatient with their management team led by Leonardo, who is also in danger of dismissal after the Brazilian hand-picked his friend and former colleague to take over on December 31 last year.

Names mentioned as possible replacements are Real Madrid’s equally under-pressure coach Jose Mourinho as well as former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola or Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Ancelotti can take comfort from the fact that he will be paid 11.3 million euros if his contract is terminated with 19 months to run.

Ancelotti insisted at the press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League home match with Porto that his players can turn their poor run around.

“Sometimes, criticism is deserved. Everyone at PSG are disappointed by our start to the season which hasn’t been good. We have lost three matches and we are five points behind Lyon.

We’re all sorry but everyone is convinced that things are going to change. When you build a new team, you are going to have problems. The championship is not finished and PSG will be very competitive but it’s true we have to improve.

“It’s normal to be criticised but I am very focussed on finding a solution and I am sure we’re going to find it. It might take 10 days, 15 days or a month but we will be competitive in the championship, that is sure.”

On a brighter note, the capital club are already guaranteed a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League for the first time since 1995 when they beat Barcelona before going out 3-0 on aggregate against Fabio Capello’s AC Milan.

They can win Group A and guarantee a theoretically easier draw in the next round by defeating 2004 champions Porto – who lead them by a point.

“It is very important to have a better draw and for us it is vital to play a good match and win to show we are a team of quality,” said Ancelotti.

“This match is important for two reasons. Firstly to get first place and secondly because it is an opportunity to play against a big club with plenty of experience.

“It can help us forget the defeat against Nice and give us renewed confidence because the players have a lot of regrets after that match.

“The conditions are ideal because there will be a lot of motivation and we need victories.”

- © AFP, 2012

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