PARIS: Carlo Ancelotti has been installed, officially, as new coach of big-spending, Qatari-owed French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
His arrival in succession to luckless, sacked Antoine Kombouare – who received a €4m pay-off – has been an open secret for the past month since he worked closely at Milan with PSG’s sporting director Leonardo.
Ancelotti was filmed and photographed arriving at PSG’s Parc des Princes HQ on Wednesday where he met with Leonardo along with fitness coach Giovanni Mauri. He will have Claude Makelele, former France, Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder, as his assistant.
Makelele will take up the coach/players liaison role fulfilled so successfully at Chelsea by Ray Wilkins under Ancelotti when the west London won the English league and FA Cup double in 2010.
Ancelotti spent eight years in charge of Silvio Berlusconi’s Milan from 2001, twice winning the Champions League, and has been out of the game since Roman Abramovich and Chelsea sacked him at the end of his second season at Stamford Bridge.
He is understood to have agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract with PSG and his reported €6m-a-season terms would make the best-paid coach ever to work in France.
Ancelotti’s arrival extends the financial commitment undertaken since last summer by Qatar Sports Investments. The new owner, which is closely linked to the Al-Jazeera TV channel, has already spent €85m on nine new players, including 22-year-old Argentinian playmaker Javier Pastore. At €30m he became the most expensive player French history on his arrival from Palermo.
Ancelotti will fly out on Sunday to the Middle East to meet up with his new players at PSG’s week-long winter training camp in Qatar and Dubai.
The camp will include a friendly match against Milan whose unsettled Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato is PSG target. Ex-England veteran David Beckham, Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Kaka and the Chelsea winger Florent Malouda are among other other stars linked closely with PSG.
Leonardo told a press conference that talks were under way with Beckham’s representatives and PSG understood that he had a number of personal considerations before he reached a decision.
Ancelotti’s first competitive match will be a French cup-tie with minnows Locmine on January 8.
Israel: Home-born Eli Guttman, 53, has been appointed national coach in succession to Frenchman Luis Fernandez whose contract was allowed to expire after the failure to qualify for the Euro 2012 finals.
Serbia: Champions Partizan Belgrade have sacked managing director Mladen Krstajic after a long-running clash with club president Dragan Djuric.
Spain: Bottom club Zaragoza have sacked ex-Mexico World Cup manager Javier Aguirre.