Gulf Today

Nagelsmann tipped to join Bayern after Flick bombshell

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BERLIN: Julian Nagelsmann is top of the German media’s list of contenders to become the next head coach of Bayern Munich while the club said Sunday it “disapprove­s” of Hansi Flick’s bombshell announceme­nt that he wants to leave the club world champions.

Despite steering Bayern to the treble by winning the Champions League last season, Flick sent shock waves through German football on Saturday by revealing he wants to be released from his Bayern contract, which runs until 2023, at the end of the season.

However, in a terse statement on Sunday, Bayern’s management said it “disapprove­s of the one-sided communicat­ion by Hansi Flick”.

The club’s board said Flick informed it of his plans on Saturday but both sides had agreed to focus on next week’s league matches against Leverkusen and Mainz “so as not to disrupt the full concentrat­ion of the entire club”.

Last month, Bayern chairman Karl-heinz Rummenigge said that he would “have to be crazy” to grant an early contract release for Flick, who has been tipped to replace Joachim Loew as head coach of Germany.

On Saturday, Flick would only say his reasons for wanting to leave “remain internal for now”, but simmering tensions with Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidz­ic over recruitmen­t and squad planning are believed to be a factor.

“It is a great relief for him to have communicat­ed this officially,” former Bayern captain Lothar Mathaeus and TV pundit told Sky on Sunday.

“There was no other way to solve it ( the tension between Flick and Salihamidz­ic), the cloth had been cut.”

Mathaeus remains convinced Leipzig coach Nagelsmann will replace Flick next season, but on Sunday the 33-year-old insisted he has so far had no contact with Bayern.

“There are, and were, no talks and no offer. That’s why I don’t know what Bayern wants,” said Nagelsmann, who ruled out leaving Leipzig with two years let on his contract.

“I won’t start a war with my contract partners.” Other names linked are ex-bayern captain Mark van Bommel, who last coached PSV Eindhoven until December 2019, and current Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, who was in charge of Bayern’s reserves from 2013-15. The Italian media have also linked former Juventus coach Massimilia­no Allegri as a possible replacemen­t.

Flick dropped his bombshell ater Saturday’s 3-2 win at Wolfsburg let Bayern on the verge of a ninth straight Bundesliga title.

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