Berliner Tageblatt - Amid torrid spell, Bayern say Tuchel to leave at end of season

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Amid torrid spell, Bayern say Tuchel to leave at end of season
Amid torrid spell, Bayern say Tuchel to leave at end of season / Photo: © AFP/File

Amid torrid spell, Bayern say Tuchel to leave at end of season

Bayern Munich said Wednesday they would part ways with manager Thomas Tuchel at the end of the season, as the reigning German champions struggled to stay in the Bundesliga title race.

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"We came to the decision to end our working relationship by mutual agreement in the summer," Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said in a statement, following talks with Tuchel.

The coach, whose contract was set to run through to 2025, would exit the club on June 30 this year.

"Until then, I will of course continue to do everything I can with my coaching staff to achieve maximum success," Tuchel said in the statement.

Bayern would look for a "new footballing direction" under a different coach next season, CEO Dreesen said.

Tuchel's preemptive dismissal comes after three straight defeats, including a painful 3-0 loss to league rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

With 12 games left in the season, Bayern sit eight points behind Xabi Alonso's side, who have yet to lose during the campaign.

Leverkusen are on an historic 32-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, equalling a record set by Hansi Flick's Bayern across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

Following the loss to Leverkusen, Bayern slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Italian side Lazio in the Champions League round of 16 and a humiliating 3-2 loss to lowly Bochum in the league.

- 'Not so realistic' -

After the horror run of form, Tuchel admitted Bayern's chances of winning the Bundesliga title were "not so realistic".

The manager brushed off talk that he might be immediately replaced, but his planned exit reflects the uncompromisingly high standards at the Bavarian giants.

Dreesen said he would "hold the team accountable" for their performances to make something of the rest of the season.

Bayern's next game is against RB Leipzig on Saturday, while the return fixture against Lazio in Munich is set for March 5.

"In the Champions League in particular... we are convinced we will reach the quarter-finals at a packed Allianz Arena with our fans behind us," Dreesen said.

Tuchel suffers the same fate as his predecessor Julian Nagelsmann, who was fired in March last year with the perennial German champions second in the league.

Bayern bosses pounced to make highly rated Tuchel their coach after his dismissal from Chelsea in late 2022, leaving the new boss "dumbstruck" by his appointment in his own words.

"I was completely surprised. The timing was surprising," the former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss said at the time.

The new man was given a brief to salvage Bayern's season and compete across all competitions, domestically and in Europe.

His tenure got off to a mixed start, beating Dortmund 4-2 on his debut to leapfrog their rivals in the league before exiting the domestic cup at the hands of Freiburg.

Bayern were subsequently dumped out of the Champions League in the quarters by Manchester City and muddled through the end of the league season.

- Next in line -

A 3-1 home loss to Leipzig left Bayern in second place behind Borussia Dortmund going into the final day of the Bundesliga season.

Only a slip by Dortmund, who drew 2-2 with Mainz, allowed Tuchel's side past to seal Bayern's 11th-straight Bundesliga title.

Bayern went into this season as favourites to make it a dozen Bundesliga trophies in a row.

The signing of English marksman Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur crowned Bayern's summer business.

But despite Kane leading the league with 25 goals, Bayern have faltered in the league and were sensationally dumped out of the German cup race by third-division side Saarbruecken.

Alonso's impressive form with Bayer Leverkusen has seen his name linked with his former club Bayern, as well as a host of other top teams, including Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Juergen Klopp's announcement that he would leave Liverpool at the end of the season, means Bayern could also have another tilt at convincing the former Dortmund boss to take the reins at the Allianz Arena.

H.Seidel--BTB