Paris: French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain were expected to confirm Italian Carlo Ancelotti as their new coach on Wednesday to replace Antoine Kombouare, sports daily L'Equipe and Le Parisien reported.
Ancelotti was in charge of AC Milan for eight years from 2001, twice delivering the Champions League, but has been out of the game since Chelsea sacked him at the end of last season after two years at the helm.
He is now understood to have agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with PSG and if reports of a salary of between six and seven million euros a season are even close to reality he would become the best paid coach ever in France.
Ancelotti was believed to be preparing to fly out on Sunday to the Middle East, joining PSG's winter break headquarters in Qatar and Dubai through to January 5 before taking charge of his first match - a French Cup round of 64 encounter with lower-league outfit Locmine on January 8.
PSG, who last won the French title in 1994 when they boasted stars such as George Weah and David Ginola, secured top spot in Ligue 1 at the halfway stage of this season after beating Saint-Etienne last week.
Yet the club's mega-rich Qatari owners have always appeared keen to replace Kombouare with a bigger name, a coach of international renown.
Kombouare, himself a former PSG player, has still not officially been sacked by the club but it is widely accepted that his future now lies away from the Parc des Princes.
Other names in the frame to take his place were Dutch former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard and former PSG midfielder Claude Makelele, who is now involved behind the scenes in an advisory role to sporting director Leonardo.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of PSG owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), promised after last summer's buyout to "make the club a great team and a strong brand on the international scene" and they promptly spent 85 million euros to attract new talent including 42 million euros to Italian side Napoli for 22-year-old midfielder Javier Pastore.
In recent weeks Leonardo has also been looking to bring England veteran David Beckham to play in Paris for a huge salary - although there has yet to be an official announcement on his arrival, despite reports the club has reached agreement for the 36-year-old.
With regard to Ancelotti, Brazilian Leonardo knows the Italian well having been AC Milan technical director during part of Ancelotti's reign with the "Rossoneri".