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Tayfun Korkut takes over at Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen have hired Tayfun Korkut as their new head coach. The former Hannover and Kaiserslautern coach has been given a contract until the end of the current season.

Bayer Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade and sporting director Rudi Völler unveiled Tayfun Korkut as the club's new head coach at a press conference on Monday, less than 24 hours after they sacked Roger Schmidt. 

Schmidt was fired a day after Leverkusen fell 6-2 in Dortmund, leaving the Rhineland club, which went into the season with expectations of qualifying for the Champions League, in 10th place in the standings.

"We wanted to provide a new impetus, to try to still reach our goals," Schade told reporters. "We are pleased to have been able to find an experienced coach."

Korkut, 42, does have Bundesliga experience, having coached Hannover from January 2014 until he was fired in April 2015. Most recently he was coach at second-division outfit Kaiserslautern, but he threw in the towel in December  with the Red Devils languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Leverkusen have given the former Turkey international a contract until the end of the season and the club is expected to look for a long-term solution in the summer. However, on Monday, Völler didn't rule out keeping Korkut on longer, if he does well.

"Anything is possible," Völler said. "It's an opportunity for him, but also for us. We have the chance to think about other solutions. However, I know that he is enthusiastic and will give everything he's got."

"I want to provide a new impetus and I hope that by the end of the season, Bayer will be in a position in the standings where this club belongs," Korkut said, adding that this meant qualifying for Europe.

He was to lead his first training session with his new club later in the day.

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