PSG's Leonardo revolution begins
Paris Saint-Germain have announced the appointment of former Milan and Inter coach Leonardo as the club's sporting director, with wide-ranging powers over all the club's sporting activities, on a three-year deal.
Former Brazil international Leonardo's arrival at PSG had been on the cards for some weeks, but the exact nature of what his duties at the club would be was the cause of much speculation.
However, all was made clear on Wednesday evening when the former PSG midfielder (1996-97) was presented to the French press by the club's new Qatari owner Nasser al-Khelaifi as the club's sporting director.
Signed on a three-year deal, Leonardo will have full control over PSG's sporting activities, especially in terms of recruitment, where his contacts in the footballing world, along with the reported 100 million Euro kitty he has been promised by the clubs new owners QSI, are the cause of much excitement in the French capital. His brief doesn't, however, include taking charge of the senior team, a job that will remain in the hands of current coach Antoine Kombouaré.
Leonardo: 'It all starts today'
"The transfer market is crazy," said Leonardo in his presentation press conference. "I think the first thing is to speak with the coach - I haven't had a chance yet. It all starts today: we'll see which players want to stay and who wants to go. We're not putting together a project to win the first game of the season, but to succeed in the long term. I need to take a good lok at where things stand and then, patiently, put this project together."
The 1994 World Cup winner's arrival has caused some displacement at the club, however, with president Robin Leproux - whose duties were seen to be incompatible with the powerful position created for Leonardo - being replaced by interim president Benoît Rousseau earlier on Wednesday afternoon.