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Mar 9, 2013

PSG president backs Ancelotti stay

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has confirmed coach Carlo Ancelotti will remain in his post next season "if he so wishes", while sporting director Leonardo is also "going to stay".

Carlo Ancelotti says the future for PSG is very bright
Ancelotti has steered PSG to the top of Ligue 1

Ancelotti, 53, raised doubts about his future at the Parc des Princes by revealing in an interview with L'Equipe last month that his contract would be extended beyond the end of the season only if his team finish in the top three in Ligue 1. 

With PSG top of the table with 11 games remaining, that seems likely, but Al-Khelaifi, 39, told Le Parisien the Italian has his destiny in his own hands.

"If he so wishes, he'll still be here. He's doing excellent work. It's been difficult at times because he's under pressure, just as in any job, but he's come through it well. Carlo is one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best," the Qatari said, before echoing Ancelotti's previous comments that both parties will sit down to discuss the situation in the summer.

"I think he'll continue, but we'll take stock at the end of the season. We'll also do the same for me. That's normal, that's how it works in any company. We're in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France and the Champions League and we're league leaders. What more can you ask for other than to touch the sky?"

Al-Khelaifi also played down links between PSG and Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, both media-mentioned candidates to succeed Ancelotti, saying: "Jose Mourinho, I don't know where he is with his contract, and it's none of my business. I respect him as a coach and as a person, just like Arsene Wenger."

The former Qatar Davis Cup player also swatted away RMC reports which emerged on Thursday that sporting director Leonardo was, according to an unnamed Qatari source, "90% certain to leave" at the end of the season. A rift between Leonardo and his boss, who was reportedly unhappy with the Brazilian's controversial public declarations, was supposed to be the main factor in their separation, but Al-Khelaifi insisted no such gulf existed between the pair.

"He's going to stay. I have a very good relationship with him. People think we have a problem with each other. I don't know where that has come from, but it makes me laugh a lot. I hear it being said: 'From Doha', 'sources from Doha say that there's a problem with Leo...'. I would like to help you, but it's not true. The official voice from Qatar is me. Everyone has to understand that. Leo is doing good work."

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