OGC Nice have confirmed that Christophe Galtier is no longer coach at Allianz Riviera with Lucien Favre returning to take charge of Les Aiglons after a fruitful spell between 2016-18 which frees up the Frenchman to replace Mauricio Pochettino as Paris Saint-Germain boss.
The Argentine is currently in talks with the Ligue 1 champions regarding compensation, but chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi has already made it clear publicly that there will be a new head coach at Parc des Princes with sporting director Leonardo also dismissed.
PSG cannot confirm Galtier’s arrival until Pochettino’s exit has been formally completed, but the former Lille OSC and AS Saint-Etienne tactician has agreed a two-year deal with an optional extension of another year.
Galtier and Campos reunited
Luis Campos has been tasked with shaping Les Parisiens’ sporting project after Leonardo was moved on and Galtier was the Portuguese executive’s preference to be Pochettino’s replacement when drawing up potential targets to overhaul a bloated squad.
The Frenchman knows what awaits him in the capital with PSG in need of restructuring and the assembly of a project based around Kylian Mbappe after he extended his contract earlier this summer as the season was winding down.
Galtier’s domestic record speaks for itself, and he is one of only two coaches to have led teams to Ligue 1 success outside of Parisien dominance after his Lille success with Leonardo Jardim the other one — both projects overseen by Campos.
Favre aims to better first spell
Although a second managerial change in as many summers was not ideal for ambitious Nice, Galtier’s relationship with the hierarchy had grown strained and the INEOS ownership group’s pursuit of Chelsea had also raised questions regarding future ownership commitment.
Instead, Le Gym have opted to bring back Favre who has been available since leaving Borussia Dortmund and cashed in on Galtier instead of dismissing him which would have then required a severance package.
The hope in Nice will be that the Swiss tactician can not only better utilize the squad which had been assembled for Galtier but also replicate their third-place finish from 2017 when they qualified for the Champions League as Monaco were beating PSG to the title.
“We want this to be a club that is known for its style of play and one which we hope can be consistently competitive in France and at European level,” said Sir Jim Ratcliffe in an official statement. “To lead this on the pitch we are very pleased to welcome Lucien back as Head Coach. He is a mature coach, who is respected and admired throughout the game. He has been very successful in the Bundesliga and at Nice. We like the way he wants his teams to play, and it fits to the vision we have at INEOS of the playing style we want for Nice.”
Where to next for Pochettino?
As for Pochettino, his next move is yet unclear and his handsome severance package from PSG will ensure that he does not need to look for work right away as reflected by his resistance of the temptation to follow Unai Emery and Thomas Tuchel immediately back into work.
Athletic Club might not have quite been quite the landing spot the Argentine imagined given that he has been linked with the likes of Manchester United in the recent past and his family being based in England makes a Premier League return most likely.
Therefore, it is probably a waiting game for the ideal post to open up and present an opportunity to get back on the horse in the English game as Galtier is getting to grips with PSG and Favre is getting his feet under the table again in Nice.