Paris Saint-Germain are looking for a high-profile coach to bring them Champions League glory next season – and Arsene Wenger could be one of the candidates.
Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini will also be on the wishlist of the big-spending Qatri club.
The Ligue 1 leaders were eliminated in the knockout stages for the second consecutive year last night as Cristiano Ronaldo inspired a 5-2 aggregate victory for Real Madrid.
Spanish coach Unai Emery signed a two-year contract when he joined from Seville in 2016 with the option of a third year if PSG reached the Champions League semi-finals.
The Paris club are 14 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and are still on course for a domestic cup double.
But the massive summer spending spree – which saw PSG break the world transfer record for Neymar and spend £166m on Kylian Mbappe – was not designed for the home market.
Laurent Blanc was fired in 2016 shortly after signing a new two-year deal when PSG went out in the Champions League quarter-finals for the fourth consecutive year.
Emery, who won three consecutive Europa Leagus with Seville, survived last year’s 6-1 second leg humiliation at the hands of Barcelona.
But after a tame surrender to Real Madrid, PSG president Nasser al-Khelaïfi said: “Now is not the time to talk about changes. Everyone is annoyed. We will calm down and think about what we have to change. We are happy with our investment, we believe in our players. We want to continue our project.”
PSG have already approached Wenger, now 68, since the 2011 takeover by the Qatar Sports Investments but the Frenchman could become available at the end of the season. Conte wants to leave Chelsea and Mancini is seeking another challenge away from Zenit.
Ancelotti coached PSG for 18 months until June 2013 before leaving for Real Madrid but is available after leaving Bayern Munich in September – following a 3-0 defeat at PSG.
Emery said: “My future is the present. I do not want to waste energy on things which, for me, are not important.”
On Sunday before the Real Madrid match, sporting director Antero Henrique said: “We will decide together, him and me, and speak at the end of the season and he is comfortable with that. What occupies us today are matches – the challenges that await us.”
Mauricio Pochettino, who played for PSG for two years, has impressed with Tottenham’s performances in Europe this season.
Juventus coach Max Allegri will also be a contender after taking the Serie A champions to two Champions League finals while former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, who won the trophy in 2015, is also available leaving the Camp Nou last summer.
Another early European elimination for PSG also risks Neymar, who moved away from Barcelona to win team trophies and the Ballon D’Or, agitating for a move back to Spain with Real Madrid.