Hansi Flick announces Bayern Munich exit after fallout with sporting director

Hansi Flick has confirmed he will leave Bayern Munich.

The Bayern boss, who led the club to the Champions League, German Cup and Bundesliga crown in his debut season, has fallen out with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic in Bavaria.

Flick was frustrated with the club’s transfer dealings last summer after winning Europe’s biggest club competition, notably the decision to allow Thiago Alcantara to leave and the failure to sign a suitable backup for Robert Lewandowski.

Those decisions came home to roost in midweek, with the club’s exit from this season’s Champions League at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.

Now, speaking after Saturday’s 3-2 win over Wolfsburg which keeps Bayern in pole position to retain their Bundesliga crown, Flick has announced his decision to exit when the current campaign draws to a close.

“I told the team today that I informed the club during the week, after the game in Paris, I would like to terminate my contract at the end of the season.”

Flick has won six trophies already as Bayern boss

Flick is widely expected to return to the German coaching set-up and replace Jogi Low after this summer’s European Championship finals.

He was previously Low’s right-hand man for over a decade, playing an integral part in Die Mannschaft’s World Cup success in 2014.

However, he insists: “It’s all independent of the DFB. I just decided to take this step.”

The 56-year-old initially joined Bayern as an assistant coach to Niko Kovac in July 2019, but was propelled into temporary charge following the Croatian’s exit in early November.

Flick was only supposed to be a stand-in as Bayern searched for a big-name replacement, but so impressive was his work, he agreed to remain until the end of the season – before signing a deal until 2023 in April 2020.

The Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB Pokal crowns saw him named German Football Manager of the Year, as well as taking UEFA’s Men’s Coach of the Year award also.

Further success would come his and Bayern’s way as they won a first-ever sextuple in the club’s history, adding the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA World Club Cup and German Super Cup.

Bayern celebrate with the trophy after winning the Champions League

But behind the scenes he has been at the centre of a growing power battle with sporting director Salihamidzic – the man whom often sits alongside him on the Bayern bench during matches.

Flick is known to be against the club’s decision to let David Alaba – who he has made the leader of his defence – to leave on a free transfer this summer when his contract ends.

And he is also furious with the decision to let Jerome Boateng’s contract run out this summer; it’s understood the ex-Germany international was told his deal wouldn’t be extended on the day of the quarter-final first leg vs PSG.

But it was the failure to build on last year’s success, that led to a number of late deals to fill holes in the squad back in October, that led Flick to declare recently: “Let me say it this way: I have been the head coach for a year and a half here. We had a team last year that was quality-wise better than this year, everyone knows that.”

Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern Munich's sporting director
Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern Munich’s sporting director

Of those four last-minute signings, three – Bouna Sarr, Marc Roca and Douglas Costa – have barely played, while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has only featured recently due to an injury to Lewandowski.

The club’s CEO, Karl-Heinz Rumenigge, urged last week: “We all have to pull together, to work together harmoniously, loyally and professionally.

“That is my clear demand of the sporting management. That’s what has always distinguished FC Bayern.”

Instead, at a meeting between club chiefs and Flick this week, he intimated his desire that he and the club now go there separate ways.

The only question is whether Flick makes it back-to-back Bundesliga triumphs before he goes.

Bayern will target RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann as their No.1 choice to replace Flick.

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