The decision hasn’t been formally announced yet, but it now seems certain that Christophe Galtier will be confirmed as the new head coach of Paris St-Germain. Galtier has already left his previous post at Nice, reportedly in preparation for his move to the capital, and in an era of constant talk about ‘elites’ and a growing gap between the haves and have-nots of European club football, his appointment tells a curious story of a club that seems to have woken up to its dysfunctional nature to a point, but which also raises more questions still about how a club at which the scales of power are so tipped in favour of a number of lavishly-paid players that it has frequently looked unmanageable in the past can even be ‘managed’.

Galtier initially made his coaching name at Saint-Etienne, taking them to their first trophy in 32 years when they won the Coup de la Ligue in 2013. But his greatest success came at Lille, where he took a team built around young, home-grown players to the Ligue Un title in 2021. Having left that position following this win, he spent last season at Nice, where he took the team to fifth place in the table and a place in the Europa Conference League. The writing had been on the wall for this appointment since Luis Campos, who’d been the director of football at Lille while Galtier was running the team, was appointed by PSG a couple of weeks earlier.

But it’s not a very PSG appointment, this, is it? Prior to Campos’ departure from Lille, it had been rumoured to the point of assumption that Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement would be Zinedine Zidane. Now, there’s a PSG head coach, a big name from French football’s past, one of the most famous and widely-celebrated players of his generation to the point that someone made a film in which a camera simply followed him around the pitch during a match for 90 minutes. But Zidane showed sufficiently little interest in the position that PSG don’t even seem to have pushed very hard to acquire his services.

Of course, the writing was on the wall for Pochettino from the point that his team imploded over the course of 15 minutes in the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League against Real Madrid. PSG went on to lift the Ligue Un title last season but this wasn’t enough to save his job, such are the expectations level at this particular club. But since the end of last season, PSG have been pursuing two simultaneous paths that seem, in some respects, contradictory to each other. The first is the announcement of nosebleed-inducing details of Kylian Mbappé’s contract renewal, with its €100m signing bonus and €50m salary as well as the significant influence given to him over the club’s policy directions.