Hansi Flick says he wants to leave Bayern Munich | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 17.04.2021
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Hansi Flick says he wants to leave Bayern Munich

Hansi Flick has informed Bayern Munich that he wants to leave the club at the end of the season. The 56-year-old is reported to be the favorite to succeed Joachim Löw as German national team coach.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick has confirmed that he wants to leave the club and has asked to be released from his contract at the end of the season.

Speaking after Bayern's 3-2 win away at Wolfsburg on Saturday, the 56-year-old revealed he had informed Bayern bosses about his decision in midweek after Bayern's Champions League exit to PSG, and had just told his players in the dressing room.

"I would like to be released out of my contract at the end of the season," he told Sky Deutschland. "We have had two fantastic years. I am delighted with my team and I am grateful to the club for being allowed to train such a team.

"It was important to me that the players find out from me, since there were lots of rumors swirling around," he added.

Captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said it was "an emotional moment for us all" but said the team "will just have to process it."

Midfielder Thomas Müller added: "He has spent a huge amount of energy over the last one-and-a-half years. You need to have a thick skin to be Bayern coach, it's been an intense time. Not that he has given a reason. He doesn't need to give us a reason."

Despite leading Bayern to a sextuplet of Bundesliga, German Cup, Champions League, German Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup after taking over from Niko Kovac in November 2019, and despite Saturday's victory putting Bayern seven points clear of RB Leipzig and on course for a ninth consecutive league title, rumors have been circulating for months that all is not well behind the scenes.

Flick's relationship with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said to be strained due to disagreements over transfer policy and squad planning. The dispute reached a head recently when Flick told Salihamidzic to "just shut up" on the team bus ahead of a game. 

Deutschland Fußball Nationalmannschaft Hansi Flick und Joachim Löw

Flick was Joachim Löw's assistant with the Germany national team between 2006 and 2014.

German national team?

Flick's next destination is unclear but, ever since Joachim Löw confirmed that he would be stepping down as German national team coach after this summer's European Championship, the favorite to succeed him has been his former World Cup winning assistant.

"My future is absolutely not clear," insisted Flick. "Of course the national team is an option every coach has to consider. I have to digest everything, the last few weeks weren't easy."

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had previously insisted that "it is a fact" that Flick would be remaining at the club next season.

Who will replace Flick?

As for Flick's replacement at Bayern Munich, sporting director Salihamidzic has previously stated his admiration for RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, although the 33-year-old has a contract with the Red Bull club until 2023.

Jesse Marsch of RB's sister club in Salzburg is also highly-rated, but the inexperienced American would be more likely to move up the Red Bull pecking order to Leipzig were Nagelsmann to leave.

Pep Guardiola aside, Bayern have tended to prefer German or German-speaking coaches, which would rule out Jose Mourinho, were things at Tottenham to deteriorate further, but could lead to speculation regarding Ralph Hasenhüttl of Southampton or Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool.

After winning the Champions League and Premier League with Liverpool, Klopp and his team are currently struggling. Could the former Borussia Dortmund coach be tempted by a move to Munich? Another former Dortmund coach, Thomas Tuchel, has only just taken over at Chelsea, ruling him out.

But perhaps the biggest changes at Bayern won't be on the bench, but in the boardroom. Long-serving club president Uli Hoeness has already stepped down and been replaced by Herbert Hainer, while former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is primed to take over from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as chief executive in January.

Sporting director has profited most from this changing of the guard, and has the final say on transfer policy and squad building - but some of his recent signings have underwhelmed, contributing to the dispute with Flick.