BERLIN: Former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is the hottest choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti as head coach of five-time European football champions Bayern Munich.
The Bavarian club's top management, President Uli Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, have started negotiations with the 44-year-old and his agent. It is expected that Tuchel will take over the team within the next two weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.
Club insiders said that Hoeness and Rummenigge dismissed a possible hiring of the current assistant coach Willy Sagnol until the end of the current season. The former French international and Bayern Munich footballers will coach the team in the next Bundesliga game this Sunday against Hertha BSC.
Tuchel was sacked by Dortmund in May after differences of opinion with Borussia's club leaders like Hans-Joachim Watzke and the managing director of sports Michael Zorc.
Nevertheless, Bayern leaders saw the necessity for a quick solution and decided not to wait for the availability of coaches like Julian Nagelsmann (TSG Hoffenheim), who is Hoeness' favourite choice, or Liverpool's Juergen Klopp. In the case of 30-year-old Nagelsmann, there seems plenty of time to think about collaboration in the near future.
For now, the club needs a clear signal ahead of the upcoming challenges. Carlo Ancelotti is said to have not only divided the squad and lost their confidence in his coaching abilities but also the influential leaders Rummenigge and Hoeness. While Rummenigge, until the disastrous defeat in Paris (0-3) continued to back the 58-year-old Italian and three-time Champions League winner, Hoeness was not convinced he was the right man to lead the team into the future.
Rummenigge regarded Ancelotti's team selection for the important game against Paris St Germain as a provocation. Bayern started the important group match without the experienced defenders Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels. The fast world class wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were sidelined as well. On top, the Austrian left back and midfielder David Alaba returned despite a three-week injury break shortly before. Brazilian left-back Rafinha was placed on the bench.
According to reports, Ancelotti's relationship with Ribery, Robben, Joshua Kimmich and striker Thomas Mueller and others was gravely harmed. Ancelotti did not inform Robben, Ribery, Hummels and Boateng in advance of the game about his plans. All the four were surprised when the team's last pre-game meeting was going on.
The Italian was upset after the club installed their former striker Hasan Salihamidzic as the new sports director and former Bayern professional Willy Sagnol as the new assistant coach. Ancelotti regarded the club's step as a mark of mistrust and feared to have lost influence.
The club and players seem to have lost confidence as Ancelotti developed the team as expected. Reports said that the Italian mentioned an offer from China, and that AC Milan are interested in hiring Ancelotti shortly.
Tuchel is not only the native speaker the German club is looking for but is also regarded to be a brilliant team developer. The 2017 German Cup winner (with Dortmund) is said to be what you call a strong character. The Bavarian club leaders and Tuchel will have to consider speaking about Bayern's requirement of a close relationship between coach and club management.
As Bayern coach, Tuchel will have to be able to deal with the club leaders' approach. Hoeness and Rummenigge demand that their coach follow the club philosophy of "Mia san Mia" (We are who we are) indicating the unique Bavarian way of club life.
The departure of Ancelotti could help Rummenigge and Hoeness to overcome their disagreements and it could have a cohesive effect on the team too.