Retiring Paris St Germain midfielder Thiago Motta has been tipped to succeed in the coaching ranks by outgoing boss Unai Emery.
Former Barcelona and Inter Milan player Motta, 35, is to call time on his career at the end of this season and take up a post with PSG’s Under-19s.
His final appearance at the Parc des Princes will likely come in the club’s penultimate fixture of the campaign against Rennes on Saturday.
Emery’s side have already wrapped up the Ligue 1 title, as one part of a domestic treble, and the manager has paid tribute to Motta’s achievements as a player, while also talking up his potential as a coach.
“I believe that all those who know him have the same opinion: he is an exceptional player, and a great man,” Emery said in quotes published on PSG’s official website.
“He has won 28 titles in his career and played 229 matches with Paris. He gave the team a clear identity. Everyone who played with him took advantage of it.
“I’m looking for the preparation of the game but if he plays, I hope he can enjoy. I am very happy with his last two games – he was very competitive and played to win.
“He has the qualities and characteristics to have a good journey as a coach.”
Though PSG have already clinched the title, Emery, who himself will be in charge of his final home game, has promised to field his strongest side possible.
Rennes are still hoping to qualify for the Europa League and Emery has promised St Etienne and Nice, the two clubs beneath them in the table, that PSG will not be in end-of-season mode.
“First of all, we want to win this game,” Emery added.
“It’s the last of the season at Parc des Princes, so we want to play well and win. We respect all our opponents – also the others who play the qualification for the Europa League, Nice and Saint-Etienne. The best players who are fit will play on Saturday.”