Bayern release coach Nagelsmann and replace him with Tuchel
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Friday parted ways with coach Julian Nagelsmann after less than two years, with Champions league winner Thomas Tuchel taking over.
The shock announcement came almost 24 hours after first reports on the issue and although Bayern remain in the hunt for a title treble.
Bayern bosses took action after a 2-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen saw the 10-time reigning champions lose the Bundesliga lead to Borussia Dortmund in an inconsistent domestic season while they have won all games in the Champions League.
Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn confirmed that “the big fluctuations in performance have cast doubt on our goals for this season, but also our goals for the future. That is why we have acted now.”
Bayern and Dortmund, who have turned around a nine-point deficit on Bayern after the the winter break, meet in a league topper on April 1, which will now be the first game for ex-Dortmund coach Tuchel.
Bayern said that Tuchel will receive a contract until 2025 and start training on Monday.
Upcoming tasks also include quarter-finals in the German Cup against Freiburg and in the Champions League against Manchester City with ex-Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.
Tuchel was in charge at Dortmund until 2017 before moving on to Paris Saint-Germain and later Chelsea where he had to go last September.
He led PSG into the 2020 Champions League final which they lost against Bayern, but won Europe’s showcase event with Chelsea a year later.
The 49-year-old had lately also been linked with Tottenham Hotspur and other top clubs. He was already reportedly a contender for the Bayern coaching job in 2018, and his availability at the moment could have been another reason for Bayern to get him now.
Nagelsmann, 35, arrived in 2021 from RB Leipzig for a takeover fee of ?25 million ($27.2 million) on a contract until 2026.
He won the 2022 Bundesliga with them but went out early in the German Cup in his first season with a 5-0 humiliation in Monchengladbach and in the Champions League against Spain’s Villarreal in the quarter-finals.
This term’s inconsistency in the Bundesliga prompted board member for sport Hassan Salihamidzic after the Leverkusen game to question the team’s mentality for which the coach is also responsible. The Süddeutsche Zeitung suggested that the coach had lost the dressing room.
“When we signed Julian Nagelsmann for FC Bayern in the summer of 2021, we were convinced we would work with him on a long-term basis - and that was the goal of all of us right up to the end,” Kahn said.
“But now we have come to the conclusion that the quality in our squad - despite the Bundesliga title last year - has come to the fore less and less often. After the World Cup we have played less successfully and less attractively.”
Salihamidzic spoke of “the most difficult decision” since he assumed the position and said “a thorough analysis of the sporting development of our team, especially since January and with the experience of the second half of the previous season” led to the decision.
Kahn and Salihamidzic thanked Nagelsmann for his work and wished him all the best for the future.
The news came during the international break and reached the German team ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Peru, with Bayern players Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka part of the squad.
Speaking ahead of Bayern’s confirmation, Kimmich named Nagelsmann “an outstanding coach” and “easily in the top three of my best coaches.”
Goretzka thanked Nagelsmann for the cooperation in an Instagram post: “A collaboration that was characterized by trust, fun and mutual appreciation at all times. You are a great person and coach to whom we all wish only the very best from the bottom of our hearts.”
Germany coach Hansi Flick, Nagelsmann’s predecessor at Bayern who led them to a 2020 title treble, said: “I think it’s a pity that he is of course now being deprived of the chance to win three titles.”
Flick said that Nagelsmann remained an “outstanding coach” despite his early departure. The Bayern players on the national football team were “very surprised” by the news, as was he, Flick said on Friday evening during the half-time break of the U21 international between Germany and Japan on TV channel ProSieben Maxx in Frankfurt.
Nagelsmann’s exit was not the first change at the helm at always ambitious Bayern in the deciding stages of a season.
Otto Rehhagel had to go in April 1996 and Jurgen Klinsmann in April 2009 as club leaders feared the team would not win any silverware.
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