Embattled Emery still believes in PSG blueprint

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Paris (AFP)

Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery insisted Friday he still believed in the Qatari owners' blueprint for the club but refused to speculate whether he would be part of their plans.

In his first press conference since PSG's limp exit from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid, Emery faced a barrage of questions about his future.

"Right now, I am part of the project and I am working as if I am going to be here for the rest of my life," the Spaniard said.

French sports daily L'Equipe reported Friday that Chelsea coach Antonio Conte is being lined up to replace Emery.

"I don't think about my future. My concern is to prepare for the next match," Emery said.

"PSG is a sound project. The people within that project could change, but the project itself is sound."

PSG, who have a 14-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, face Metz on Saturday.

Emery said it was "normal" that he face criticism for PSG's failure to progress further than the last-16 of the Champions League despite effectively spending 400 million euros on Neymar and 19-year-old French striker Kylian Mbappe last summer.

"The most important thing is the analysis that we can carry out within the club about what happened, and what we can change to make progress," Emery said.

The absence of Neymar with a broken foot bone hampered the Parisians in the second leg as they went down 2-1 at the Parc des Princes and lost 5-2 on aggregate.

PSG's Qatari owners had set a target of winning Europe's top club prize by this year, but the team has failed to break into Europe's elite.