PSG win title, but summer of change ahead
PARIS It may have felt in many respects as though Paris SaintGermains season ended a month ago, but this Sunday they find themselves celebrating reclaiming the French title, their second trophy in a fortnight.
While Neymar is still absent recovering from an operation on a fractured foot, Unai Emerys side took back the Ligue 1 crown in the best possible fashion, demolishing last years champions Monaco.
A near flawless run of domestic form over the last three months comfortably saw off their nearest rivals, and Sundays thumping triumph followed a 3-0 win over Monaco in the League Cup final at the end of March.
To their credit, PSG have not wallowed in self-pity since their defeat to Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League in early March, just after the crushing blow of losing Neymar to injury.
The defeat against Real Madrid was a big defeat, but apart from that I am very happy with what the team has produced this season, said Emery recently.
After being denied by Monaco last year, there was never really any doubt that PSG would reclaim the crown this time.
They have been top since August. Champions for the fifth time in six seasons, Emerys team are on course to set a new points record. There have been only two defeats, against Strasbourg and Lyon.
The league title is very important to me. It is the main competition and it shows how consistent a team is, Emery said. The club wants to progress, improve, become the best in the world.
But their financial might even regardless of the threat of UEFA sanctions for breaches of Financial Fair Play ensures the playing field is so uneven at home, and the Champions League is their holy grail.
A second successive exit in the last 16 means heads will roll at the end of this season in preparation for a new attempt to definitively become part of the European elite.
Emerys contract is due to expire and the Spaniard will not be kept on.
With their credibility on the line, Qatar Sports Investments cannot afford to get it wrong when it comes to naming a successor.
But having been linked with the likes of Antonio Conte, Luis Enrique, even Jose Mourinho, instead it seems that Thomas Tuchel will be the chosen one.
Given Tuchels profile a free agent since leaving Borussia Dortmund last year, with just one major trophy as a coach and little European pedigree appointing the 44-year-old German may surprise many.
The new mans biggest job will be learning to get along with Neymar, a brilliant player but one whose off-field antics are frequently in the headlines.
That is assuming Neymar remains in Paris for a second season, amid constant speculation of a move away, possibly to Real Madrid. Other players will certainly leave, with the likes of Thiago Motta and Javier Pastore possibly having won their last Ligue 1 title. AFP