PSG never considered replacing Tuchel, insists Leonardo


Leonardo says Paris Saint-Germain have not considered sacking Thomas Tuchel, even if the club were unhappy with criticism of their transfer business.

Tuchel guided PSG to the Champions League final for the first time last season, also winning a domestic treble, although they were beaten by Bayern Munich in the European showpiece.

But pressure has built on the German coach in the new campaign, which started quickly after the disappointing end to the previous term.

PSG lost their first two Ligue 1 matches amid a coronavirus outbreak and Tuchel then suggested a repeat of 2019-20 could not be expected due to a lack of investment in the playing squad.

The champions have since got their domestic campaign back on track, winning every subsequent match, but Champions League defeats to Manchester United and RB Leipzig have increased scrutiny.

Tuchel, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has not been at risk of losing his job, though, according to sporting director Leonardo.

"We have to support the coach but also say things," Leonardo said in a Q&A on PSG's social media channels.

"With Tuchel, we had a discussion and said we didn't like his statement. We spoke and now the discussion is clear to everyone. Afterwards, there are normal discussions.

"We discuss all the time about who is playing. The situation is clear for everyone. There are internal discussions. We discuss club life and injuries all the time.

"Sometimes the discussions are more heated. It happens. The truth is that, internally, we never changed and tried to make Tuchel leave. We never called anyone. That doesn't exist.

"The role of coach of PSG is envious. But the club never thought of another coach to replace Tuchel.

"Now is the time to focus on our goal, to be together. We have a lot of little worries. We need to focus on the ground, and not waste energy elsewhere.

"The important thing is the Champions League and keeping our position in the league."

While Tuchel was undermined by the club's transfer activity, one player who did arrive was Danilo Pereira, the Porto midfielder, on loan.

Four of Danilo's five starts for PSG have come as a centre-back, however, with defender Marquinhos preferred in the middle of the pitch, prompting much discussion.

The player, coach and Fernando Santos, the Portugal boss, have all had their say, and Leonardo weighed in on Tuesday.

"It is clear that Marquinhos is a central defender and Danilo a defensive midfielder," he said. "Everyone knows it, Tuchel too.

"But then there are choices. [Bruno] N'Gotty, Fabinho and [Javier] Mascherano all played in both positions.

"We had the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtaking a defensive midfielder. Marquinhos, since he arrived in 2013, has been the new Thiago Silva.

"It was the idea that he would be the successor. It was natural that he is the new captain and the new central defender. After, if the coach chooses one thing or the other..."