Bayern Munich to ditch coach Julian Nagelsmann — reports – DW – 03/24/2023 / German News

Bayern Munich will part ways with coach Julian Nagelsmann and are lining up Thomas Tuchel as his imminent replacement, Germany’s top-selling daily newspaper Picture and its leading football magazine table football both reported on Thursday evening.

Other media outlets, including in Bavaria, carried similar stories, all citing sources at the club.

However, table football also asked Nagelsmann whether he had heard anything of this from his employer, quoting him as saying: “No. Not yet.”

Bild went a step further, though, reporting that Nagelsmann had been fired and had been notified of this late on Thursday, again citing an off-the-record source at the club.

Bayern Munich itself had not commented publicly on Thursday. Bayern player Joao Cancelo, coincidentally put on the spot in a media interview that evening, started his response by saying, “I didn’t know that. I’m a little surprised.”

table football reported that the club had been in contact with Thomas Tuchel — the former Paris St. Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea coach who is currently between jobs and living in Munich — and that Tuchel would likely sign a deal either on Friday or Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel sat in front of a holographic Bayern Munich logo.
According to Kicker and others, Bayern have been in talks with Thomas Tuchel for daysImage: Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/picture alliance

The timing would be opportune to switch coaches as most of Bayern’s squad are away with their national teams on international duty. The team is not playing this weekend.

Bayern’s next fixture is not until April 1, a crucial top-of-the-table battle with Borussia Dortmund in the league.

Why is Nagelsmann under pressure?

The 35-year-old Nagelsmann, for years the brightest rising star in the German coaching scene, is presiding over Bayern’s least successful domestic league season in years.

A 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen last weekend helped Dortmund rise to the top of the table, one point clear of Bayern, champions every year since the 2011/12 season. Before the break for the midwinter World Cup in Qatar, Bayern had a 9-point lead.

Although still in the Champions League, Manchester City, led by former Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, could prove a stout test for the Bavarians in the quarterfinals.

Reports of Nagelsmann struggling to maintain good relations with his star-studded squad have also been a recurring feature for months. Arguably his most public falling out was with 2021 world player of the year, Robert Lewandowski, who ultimately left for Barcelona in the off-season at a probably discounted transfer fee.

The dismissal of goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, an ally of veteran keeper Manuel Neuer, was another flashpoint.

His vocal criticism of referees in a media interview after defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach also prompted debate.

“Nagelsmann gradually lost the players and with them, the entire dressing room,” table football reporter Georg Holzner wrote in a commentary.

The exceptionally young coach — injury curtailed his playing career, giving him a headstart in the dugout instead — was hired to much fanfare in July 2021 after overachieving at Hoffenheim and then RB Leipzig. He was supposed to usher in a new era and approach at Bayern. But his attempts to do this, often at the expense of his veteran star players’ egos or their playing time, has also caused friction.

Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsmann embrace and speak after a Champions League match, surrounded by other players.  Archive image from 2020.
When Nagelsmann and Tuchel met in the Champions League in 2020, Nagelsmann was still coaching RB Leipzig. PSG came out on top, but would go on to lose in the final against Bayern Munich. Image: Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/Pool/firosportphoto/picture alliance

Tuchel ready to step in, based in Munich

Bayern’s reported replacement, Thomas Tuchel, is another top German coach who has been sidelined since early this season when London club Chelsea fired him.

Tuchel, 49, is a former Dortmund coach and had been linked to the Bayern job in the past.

He won two domestic league titles with Paris St Germain and the Champions League with Chelsea since leaving Germany to coach abroad, but ultimately he only survived just over two years in Paris and 18 months in London before the teams’ form ebbed.

Tuchel has been living in Munich since returning from his time with Chelsea so would be in a position to take up the job quickly.

Despite the talk of a disappointing season, particularly with seven draws and three defeats so far in a domestic league that Bayern have grown accustomed to dominating, Germany’s most successful club is still in the hunt to win the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Champions League in the last weeks of the season, possibly with new leadership at the helm.

msh/ar (AFP, dpa, SID)

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