AFP/ Wolfsburg, Germany
Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick dropped a bombshell yesterday by revealing he wants to leave the club world champions at the end of the season. Despite Bayern winning six titles over the last 12 months under Flick, he told Sky that he “wants to be released” from his contract, which expires in 2023.
The shock revelation came after yesterday’s 3-2 win at Wolfsburg that left the Bavarians seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. The 56-year-old, who steered Bayern to last season’s treble which included the Champions League title, told the star-studded squad before making the news public.
“I told the team that I informed the club during the week that I want out of my contract at the end of the season,” Flick said. “It was not an easy decision for me. It was important that the team heard it from me. I want to give my thanks and compliments to the club for giving me the opportunity to coach such a team.”
The news caps a turbulent week for Bayern who were knocked out of the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday by Paris Saint-Germain. Tensions have been simmering behind the scenes between Flick and Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic over player recruitment. “I have discussed things internally with those responsible. The reasons will remain internal for now,” added Flick, who said he made his decision after “careful consideration”.
The rift was triggered after Salihamidzic confirmed Jerome Boateng will not be kept on next season. Flick made it clear he wanted to keep the 32-year-old centre-back. Bayern forward Thomas Mueller said Flick did not tell the squad why he wants out.
However, being released from his Bayern contract would clear the way for him to take charge of Germany after Euro 2020. He is one of the main candidates to be Germany head coach after Joachim Loew steps down following the June 11-July 11 tournament.
Flick says taking charge of the German national team is “an option” but he has yet to speak to Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff who will ultimately decide. Flick was Loew’s assistant coach when Germany won the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil.
Bayern raced into a 2-0 lead with early goals by Jamal Musiala, 18, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Musiala danced through the Wolfsburg defence to put Bayern ahead after 15 minutes before Choupo-Moting took advantage of a mistake by Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels to stab home the visitors’ second goal.
Wout Weghorst pulled a goal back for Wolfsburg, but Musiala made it 3-1 at half-time with a towering header to leave him on four Bundesliga goals this season. Maximilian Philipp gave hosts Wolfsburg hope when he flicked home a cross just after the break. The away win could have come at a price as Bayern defender Lucas Hernandez had to be helped off late on. With five games to go, Bayern can wrap up the league title within a fortnight having extended their lead in the table after Leipzig’s goalless draw with Hoffenheim on Friday.
Eintracht Frankfurt crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach, four days after head coach Adi Huetter confirmed he will leave to coach Gladbach next season. Frankfurt’s defence crumbled and their five-match unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt as Matthias Ginter, Jonas Hofmann, Ramy Bensebaini and Hannes Wolf netted for the hosts.
The Eintracht squad also had to contend with sports director Fredi Bobic announcing in mid-week that he is leaving to manage Hertha Berlin from June 1. Fifth-placed Borussia Dortmund, who host Werder Bremen today, can trim Frankfurt’s seven-point cushion in the last Champions League place for next season.
Union Berlin are now within a point of the European places after their 2-1 home win over Stuttgart. Bottom side Schalke have only a mathematical chance of staying up after their 4-0 thrashing at mid-table Freiburg, whose winger Christan Guenter netted twice.
Schalke have five games left to bridge the 14-point gap to escape the bottom three. Arminia Bielefeld climbed out of the bottom three thanks to a goalless draw at Augsburg, which pushed Hertha Berlin into the relegation fight.
The entire Hertha squad is in quarantine until April 28 and their next three games, starting with today’s away match at Mainz, have been postponed following Covid-19 cases at the club.
Union Berlin 2 (Proemel 20, Musa 43) VfB Stuttgart 1 (Foerster 49); Borussia Moenchengladbach 4 (Ginter 10, Hofmann 60, Bensebaini 67, Wolf 90+5) Eintracht Frankfurt 0; VfL Wolfsburg 2 (Weghorst 35, Philipp 54) Bayern Munich 3 (Musiala 15, 37, Choupo Moting 24); SC Freiburg 4 (Hoeler 7, Sallai 22-pen, Guenter 50, 74) Schalke 04 0
Playing today: Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen (1330 GMT), Mainz v Hertha Berlin — postponed
Friday: RB Leipzig 0 Hoffenheim 0
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