Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery confirms exit at end of season
Unai Emery has confirmed he will leave his job as Paris Saint-Germain head coach at the end of the season.
Emery has led PSG to Ligue 1 and Coupe de la Ligue success this season, but his long-term future has been the subject of scrutiny since the Champions League round-of-16 exit to Real Madrid -- the second successive year in which they had gone out at that stage.
He is out of contract at the end of this campaign, and it had been widely predicted that the deal would not be renewed.
"There was a meeting with the president [chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi] and [sporting director] Antero [Henrique] and we have decided that we will not continue together next season," Emery said at a news conference ahead of the visit of Guingamp on Sunday.
"I told the players earlier. I want to communicate with everybody -- I want to thank Nasser, Antero, PSG and the players. I also want to thank the players and the supporters for the past two years here and the work that we have done together.
"The meeting lasted an hour. We spoke about it, something between friends who have enjoyed some good times together.
"It is the best thing for everybody -- I want to leave here with this feeling, this spirit, a good relationship with everybody and above all, respect and honesty."
Emery, 46, has won one Ligue 1 title and two Coupe de la Ligue crowns since taking over in summer 2016, and could secure a second Coupe de France if PSG win next month's final against third-division side Les Herbiers.
The coach said he had endured a "difficult first six months" but has "progressed as a coach" in France.
"We followed a path in terms of how we played and in terms of victories, success," he said.
Former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is the choice of the Emir of Qatar, the chief of PSG owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), to replace Emery but departing Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has also been linked, although sources have told ESPN FC he is not a target in that role.
"If the new coach needs something from me, I can offer my opinion," Emery said. "PSG's project is very solid, and it will continue to grow and add major players.
"The next coach, whoever it is, will find a big club, with big opportunities -- I am there to offer some help."
Al-Khelaifi said in a club statement: "Throughout his two seasons at the head of our first team, Unai was a model of commitment and ambition. His immense passion for football and his exceptional work ethic saw the club cement its place amongst the football elite, both in France and internationally. I congratulate Unai for his achievements with our project and, on behalf of the club, wish him every success for his future challenges."
Emery has been linked with a return to former club Real Sociedad but said he was relaxed about what came next.
"I am calm regarding the manner with which we have decided to separate," he added. "I will see what is best for my future. I am focused on these last few matches and, after that, I will decide with my family what is best.
"All that remains here is the Coupe de France final."
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.