Gulf Today

Paderborn boss Baumgart to coach Cologne next season

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BERLIN: Relegation-threatened Bundesliga club Cologne on Tuesday named Steffen Baumgart from second-tier side Paderborn as head coach for next season -- whether or not his new club remains in Germany’s top flight.

Cologne are second-from-botom and need two points to escape the botom three with games to come against fellow-strugglers Hertha Berlin and botom side Schalke, who are already relegated.

Baumgart, 49, took Paderborn from the third division to the Bundesliga ater taking the reins in 2017, but stayed with the club when they were relegated back to the second division at the end of last season.

The former striker will replace caretaker coach Friedhelm Funkel, who has won two of his four games since taking over from Markus Gisdol.

“We are delighted that Steffen Baumgart has decided to join Cologne,” said the club’s sports director Horst Heldt.

“He has done an outstandin­g job in Paderborn over the past few years.

“He has proven that he can develop players no mater what age and make them beter.”

Baumgartwi­llseeouthi­sfour-yearlongpa­derborn contract which expires at the end of the season.

“It was now time for me to make a change. The talks with Cologne were open and I’m looking forward to my new challenge,” said Baumgart, who has signed a two-year contract with his future club.

Meanwhile, German Bundesliga club Schalke has canceled training ater one of its players tested positive for the coronaviru­s on Monday with three games of the season remaining.

Schalke said the unnamed player would immediatel­y go into isolation at home ater a positive result from a rapid test. The entire team will now undergo more sensitive PCR tests, with results expected Tuesday.

Schalke is already relegated but the case could affect other teams’ chances of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga or qualifying for the Champions League.

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