It appears Hansi Flick’s time as head coach of Bayern Munich is coming to an end, with his close friend Lothar Matthaus claiming he will take over as the next boss of Germany.
His side’s Champions League title defence came to an end on Tuesday night with defeat on away goals to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals (3-3 on aggregate). Despite winning the second leg 1-0 in France, it was not enough to send his team through.
There has been intense speculation that Flick will succeed Joachim Low, who will step down as head coach of the national side at the end of the European Championship.
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Flick delivered a monologue which lasted over four minutes during a TV interview after the game, where he was vague about his future but would not rule out a move.
"It's all about the development of the team, that is immensely important for me," he told Sky Germany.
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"I'm always thinking about that, because success is a constant process. With the six titles we won, we have set an incredible benchmark. Whether at the DFB (the German Football Association) or Bayern, the pressure is huge.
Whether I'm at the DFB is irrelevant for my family. Whatever decision I make, they will support me. Having them behind me is a great feeling. I love the job and I can't imagine doing anything other than coaching.
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It now seems inevitable that Flick will take the role and return to the national team, where he served as Low’s assistant to help them win the World Cup in 2014. Despite the Bayern boss insisting his relationship with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is “stable” in what has been a public falling out, Eurosport Germany’s Marc Hlusiak says it has seemed for a while that they would part ways.
"Flick is the absolute front runner for the Germany job, he will not turn this one down if it's offered to him," he said.
“It has been known for weeks that Flick and Salihamidzic don't really get along well. Flick wants to have more say in player transfers, but Salihamidzic sees this as his sole responsibility.
Both of them have clashed several times, and neither of them make a secret of it. If the relationship with his manager were different, one could imagine Flick fulfilling his contract. But with the Germany job on the table, that is more or less unthinkable.
Hlusiak says Flick will go down as a Bayern legend when he eventually does leave; “He is the coach with whom they played the most successful season in the club's history - the perfect season with six titles”, and believes succession planning is already underway.
“Bayern have already contacted RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann,” said Hlusiak.
“Lothar Matthäus said yesterday that they have even talked about contracts and the financial side of a deal.
“Interest in Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was also recently discussed, but Nagelsmann seems to be the favourite.”
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