Mauricio Pochettino's Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have recently emerged as one of the most resourceful and well-backed clubs in world football. In the last decade or so, they have been utterly dominant in France.
PSG have won seven of the last nine Ligue 1 titles, with Lille interrupting their run last season and Monaco in 2017. With players like Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Marco Verratti, Angel Di Maria and Marquinhos, the Parisians have played a beautiful brand of attacking football.
Lionel Messi joined the club on a free transfer last summer after his contract with Barcelona expired.
However, Pochettino has been unsuccessful in bringing the best out of Messi and the team as a whole. PSG have lacked consistency, and have often had games where they struggled to create any goalscoring opportunities. That could inhibit their big-title ambitions.
While they are likely to romp to the Ligue 1 title this season, the same cannot be said about the Champions League, where they'll meet Real Madrid in the Round of 16. If Pochettino falters in Europe despite an expensively assembled roster, PSG could move swiftly to replace him.
On that note, here's a look at five candidates who could replace Pochettino at the PSG helm:
#5 Joachim Low
Joachim Low is one of the most well-respected and decorated managers in the game, especially in the 21st century. He led the German national team between 2006 and 2021.
During that time, they reached at least the semi-final at every major international tournament, except the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2020, they competed in. Low was at the helm when Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup, notably knocking out hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final.
Low is credited with making one of the most significant changes to Die Mannschaft's playing style post the Jurgen Klinsmann era (2004-06).
Concerned that players would retain the ball for too long, Low insisted on a playing style with quick ball movement, progression into the opponent's half and being ruthless in front of goal.
PSG are currently suffering from inconsistencies in attack, and are in dire need of a system reshuffle. Perhaps, the former Germany boss could help out the Parisians as they seek to make a mark in France and Europe.
#4 Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola is arguably the greatest tactician in the history of the game. First as a player and then as a manager, Guardiola won three Champions League titles with Barcelona, two as manager. It is no surprise that PSG have the Spaniard on their radar as they look to make a mark in the Champions League.
Guardiola is a manager who likes everything to be in his control. The way the players behave and conduct themselves is a big part of his demands to help achieve success. At a star-studded team like PSG, the Spaniard could face a problem.
However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. The highlight would be his and Lionel Messi's reunion. The pair previously spent a highly successful four years together at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.
Guardiola is a serial winner, and is exactly what PSG need at the moment. The Spaniard won the Premier League in back-to-back seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19), doing so for the first time in Manchester City's history.
Remarkably, since his managerial career commenced in 2008, he has never gone two consecutive seasons without winning the league. He has won three league titles in three different top-five leagues in Europe.
While his domestic record would help PSG maintain their stranglehold in Ligue 1, his Champions League pedigree could help the Parisians win the competition for the first time.
It will be interesting to see what Pep Guardiola does once his contract with Manchester City expires.
#3 Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte is another tactician who could assume the reins at PSG. He is one of the most revered coaches in world football. The Italian is known for his passionate approach to coaching, and his press conferences are seldom dull.
Conte recently returned to his native Italy to manage Inter Milan. He succeeded in ending Juventus' near decade-long Serie A stranglehold as Inter won their first Scudetto in eleven years.
Conte is currently the manager at Mauricio Pochettino's former team, Tottenham Hotspur. After a bright start to the season, Spurs were in free fall. However, the Italian has managed to reverse their fortunes since his arrival a few weeks ago.
Conte is a coach who explains his expectations to his players clearly, and demands excellence at all times. Indiscipline is rarely an issue with him, as he is a top manager and has admirable man-management nous.
PSG will look to target the Italian, owing to his record of winning silverware as well as man-management skills.
#2 Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is managing Ajax in the Netherlands. They are currently second in the Eredivisie on 42 points, a point behind leaders PSV Eindhoven.
Ajax have been a revelation in the Champions League this season, winning all six group games. They were one of the first teams to qualify for the knockout rounds. Sebastian Haller is their top scorer in the competition, with ten goals in six games.
Ajax and Liverpool were the eighth and ninth teams to win all their group games in Champions League history.
Erik ten Hag has a penchant for developing young players. Brazilian winger Antony has excelled under the Dutchman. Other stars like Ryan Gravenberch, Jurrien Timber and Haller have put in great performances too.
Considering Ajax's limited financial might, ten Hag's record at the club's helm speaks volumes of his prowess. The Dutchman has proved that he can grind out results despite limited resources.
Think about what he could achieve with virtually unlimited resources and world-class players across positions at PSG!
#1 Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane is one of the most successful players and managers in the game's history. With Real Madrid, he won the Champions League four times - once as a player and thrice as manager.
Having been a top midfielder himself, Zidane understood the requirements of his players, particularly midfielders. With a midfield trio of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, the Frenchman conquered Europe thrice in a row between 2016 and 2018. He remains the only manager in history to have achieved the feat.
Considering he's French, Zidane could be looked up to by several of PSG's youngsters. Having him as manager for the Parisians could not only benefit the club, but French football as a whole.
An iconic figure managing the biggest club in France could spark an influx of young players flooding into PSG's academy. Every young player could have PSG on their wishlist to play for in the future, and want to be a part of Zidane's team. Kylian Mbappe's development under Zidane could be immense as well.
Among all options in this list, Zinedine Zidane is the only one who is currently out of job. He also appears to be the most likely next PSG manager too.