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Hasan Salihamidzic announced as new Bayern Munich sporting director

After a lengthy search, Germany's most successful club have found a new sporting director. Matthias Sammer's successor at Bayern Munich is a former player and a well-liked character at the club.

Bayern Munich unveiled their new sporting director on Monday, appointing former player Hasan Salihamidzic.

"I know all the structures at the club. I will take on my duties like I took on my career as a player. Players can talk to me at any time of the day," said a beaming Salihamidzic.

"I've always identified 100 percent with Bayern Munich. My family and children are in Munich. I was always going to come back," the 40-year-old told a Munich press conference to announce his appointment.

Club president Uli Hoeness summed up his appointment by saying: "We want to strength the Mia-San-Mia feeling, and who can do that better than Hasan Salihamidzic?"

The Bosnia native also knows the club's new assistant coach Willy Sagnol from their playing days and speaks five languages - an advantage in such an international squad. 

Salihamidzic played 365 games for Bayern, winning six Bundesliga titles and a Champions League. The former winger was also on Bayern's recent tour of Asia, as part of his role as an ambassador for the club.

"Hasan will sign a contract tomorrow until 2020," club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the press conference. "We brought a man to Bayern who knows Bayern well. He played football for years here. He's a person I wouldn't have enjoyed playing against."

Hoeness added: "No transfer negotiations will happen without Hasan Salihamidzic sitting at the table."

Bayern Munich had been looking for a replacement for Matthias Sammer since he stepped down from the role due to health reasons a year ago. Philipp Lahm turned down the job many thought he would naturally step into, and Rummenigge was keen to point out that Salihamidzic was not an interim appointment.

"Hasan is not keeping the seat warm for Philipp! The door is always open for Philipp, but these things have nothing to do with one another," Rummenigge said.

A host of names including the likes of Miroslav Klose, Oliver Kahn and Mark van Bommel had all been linked with the role, but it seems other than Salihamidzic only Lahm and Gladbach's sporting director Max Eberl were genuine contenders.

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