BERLIN, April 21 (Xinhua) — With Bayern Munich on the brink of winning their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title, tensions around the 2020 treble winners seem to have cooled down temporarily.
“It’s very close now, and all want the thing to get done,” said departing coach Hansi Flick after the 2-0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen.
One more win will be enough to secure the title. As early as next weekend, the reigning German champions could reach their goal away at Mainz in the season’s 31st round of matches.
Accomplishing the mission at the same time is the curtain-raiser to a new era, after Flick stated his wish to leave his post this summer, two years before his contract expires. The 56-year-old won seven trophies within 18 months, making him statistically Bayern’s most successful coach.
Despite their understandable anger about Flick’s departure, Bayern officials are now turning their heads to the future, which means having to find a new coach.
Rumors suggest Julian Nagelsmann is Flick’s likely successor. Reports speak of Bayern having to pay up to 20 million euros to get their hands on the RB Leipzig coach.
Bayern’s new coach will have to restructure the squad, as reports suggest that Austrian international David Alaba has signed a five-year contract with Real Madrid. Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and several squad players are also said to be leaving.
Despite rumors speaking of Bayern possibly demanding a transfer fee for Flick from the German association, the Bayern coach’s next destination seems clear. While talk remains of interest from Juventus, the German national team job remains Flick’s first choice.
“If things come as they seem, I hope he takes charge of the national team afterwards,” Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich said.
The coach’s decision to leave didn’t come as a surprise, Kimmich added. “Due to ongoing but unnecessary discussions, the possibility of him leaving was always there,” the 26-year-old said.
“Despite a not entirely satisfying season, we all should go for the Bundesliga title. That remains our primary target,” Kimmich said.
Flick’s announcement “was sad news for us, but we should accept his decision. We had a great and successful time and benefitted from a unique team spirit that helped us win all these titles,” midfielder Leon Goretzka said.
The German international added, “The circumstances are like a motivation booster to continue with our successful football and give him a worthy farewell.”
Former Bayern player Toni Kroos assumed Flick was “fed up” with Bayern’s policy. Flick unsuccessfully demanded more influence regarding transfers.
“This then was unstoppable. He said what he felt and did his thing. Today coaches increasingly want to decide about their future. There is nothing wrong with that,” the Real Madrid star added.
Bayern officials such as chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and his designated successor Oliver Kahn are said to have final discussions with Flick after the game against Mainz.
Fans expressed their support for Flick and demanded the sacking of sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. Some called for former midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to take over the director’s job, while Bayern’s board renewed its support for Salihamidzic