AS PARIS ST GERMAIN beat Auxerre 3-2 to end a run of four winless games, Parc des Princes chiefs were already making plans for life after manager Antoine Kombouré.
Al-Jazeera reported last night that former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has been lined up to replace Kombouré whose position at the club is increasingly uncertain.
Benitez, who famously brought the Champions League back to Merseyside in 2005, has been out of work since he was sacked after just five months by Inter Milan last December.
Journalist Guillem Balague, a friend of Benitez’s, confirmed last night that the Spaniard had been approached by PSG but maintained that there had been no agreement between the parties yet.
“I insist: Rafa hasn’t signed for PSG and [it] is not about to happen. Conversations continue but that’s all,” Ballague tweeted.
But if he eventually signs its [sic] only because the top PL teams didn’t believe in him.
Kombouré, a league winner during his time as a player with PSG, has come under extreme scrutiny since Qatar Investment Authority bought a 70% stake in the club last May.
With the new owners’ backing, Kombouré splashed a net €85m in transfer fees during the summer, including a reported €42m on Argentinian sensation Javier Pastore from Palermo.
But pressure mounted following a slow start to the season which saw PSG win just three of their opening six games in Ligue 1.
And although a run of six straight wins since propelled the club to the top of the table, their iffy recent form has allowed Montpellier to leapfrog them and open up a three-point lead at the summit.
“I’m taking this quite peacefully at the moment,” Kombouaré said after goals from Christophe Jallet, Jérémy Ménez and Nene gave them a hard-fought win over struggling Auxerre last night.
If we come through this period unscathed, we’ll be very, very strong. I am as I am — still standing, ready to go into battle.