Wed, Dec 05, 2012 - Page 18 News List

PSG’s beleaguered boss turns blind eye to reports of sacking

AFP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s beleaguered Italian manager, 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 the team slip to fourth spot in the table and five points behind pacesetters Olympique Lyonnais following a 2-1 defeat away to OGC Nice on Saturday and a midweek League Cup elimination by AS Saint-Etienne.

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

Names mentioned as possible replacements are Real Madrid’s equally under-pressure manager 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 (US$14.7 million) if his contract is terminated with 19 months to run. Ancelotti insisted at the press conference ahead of yesterday’s Champions League match with Porto that the team can improve.

“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,” he said.

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.

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