Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) sporting director Leonardo has revealed the reasons behind the club's sacking of Thomas Tuchel. The German tactician was relieved of his duties as PSG manager in December 2019.
Tuchel's departure from the Parc des Princes received a very mixed response at the time. The German had led PSG to the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League final, their best-ever position in Europe's premier club competition. Some believed this warranted Tuchel receiving more time.
However, many felt it was the farthest Tuchel could take the side and that a new manager was needed for PSG to take the final step. It is worth noting that Tuchel has since gone on to win the Champions League with Chelsea, securing the famous title in the 2020-21 club season.
Speaking on the German's dismissal, Leonardo was quoted as saying by Tribal Football (via Chelsea News):
"The separation was natural. The previous year, complicated situations destabilised the environment. It is human that points of view differ, it was difficult to establish a relationship between us."
Leonardo said PSG's infamous loss to Manchester United in the 2018-19 Champions League, where they let a 2-0 away lead slip, was also a source of concern.
The Parisians also went on to lose in the 2019 French Cup final on penalties to Rennes, which further "complicated" the situation, according to Leonardo.
"Even though I think it was difficult, he came before me, with a way of working. Then it’s a very complicated year, we were eliminated by United in the round of 16 when there was so much waiting. He loses in the final of the Coupe de France, there is a complicated movement around him. It destabilises everything."
Tuchel was notably handed a one-year contract extension by PSG at the end of the 2018-19 season. This meant the German's time with the French giants would ideally go on until the summer of 2021.
Leonardo added that other factors were at play when Tuchel was offered an extension. He said:
"Then comes back someone who was already there, who has a relationship with the president and the owners and decides to do things differently. It was difficult to establish anything between us."
"In the long term, it would have been difficult" - Leonardo on PSG sacking Tuchel
Leonardo also said that PSG's loss to Bayern in the 2019-20 Champions League final saw them finally make the decision to sack Tuchel.
"I am sincere, between us: I think this stuff has been good for a year. It was an internal contrast that energised everyone. We reached the final of the Champions League, lost against Bayern. In the long term, it would have been difficult, it was towards the end of the contract, we decided earlier."
The Parisians relieved Tuchel of his duties in December 2019 and replaced him with Mauricio Pochettino the following January.
Tuchel departed PSG with a good record, having overseen 96 victories, 11 draws and 20 defeats in 127 matches. He won two Ligue 1 titles, a French Cup, a French League Cup and two French Super Cups with the club.