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Bayern Munich have appointed former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel as their new head coach after sacking Julian Nagelsmann.
The 49-year-old has been out of a job since his dismissal from Stamford Bridge in September and will take charge of training from Monday ahead of a pivotal Klassiker clash with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund next Saturday.
Nagelsmann departs despite Bayern being just a point behind Dortmund and into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, having beaten Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 to set up a mouthwatering match-up with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in April, with both legs exclusively live on BT Sport.
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The catalyst for the managerial change appears to have been last weekend’s 2-1 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen - a third league loss of the season - which came after Nagelsmann angrily addressed the leaking of tactical information to German news outlet Bild, claiming there was a mole in the camp.
Despite Nagelsmann impressively guiding Bayern through a tricky Champions League tie against PSG, his team’s form domestically has been less consistent than usual, with assistant coaches Dino Toppmoller, Benjamin Gluck and Xaver Zembrod also exiting their posts.
Reflecting on the decision to sack Nagelsmann, former Bayern goalkeeper and current CEO of the club Oliver Kahn said: "When we signed Julian, we were convinced we would work with him on a long-term basis - and that was the goal of all of us right up to the end.
"Julian shares our aspiration to play successful and attractive football. But now we have come to the conclusion that the quality in our squad - despite the Bundesliga title last year - has come to the fore less and less often.
"After the World Cup we have played less successfully and less attractively. The big fluctuations in performance have cast doubt on our goals for this season, but also our goals for the future. That is why we have acted now.
"Personally and on behalf of FC Bayern, I would like to thank Julian and his coaching team, and wish everyone the best of luck for the future."
The 35-year-old leaves less than two years after his appointment at the Allianz Arena on a reported world-record contract for a manager of €25m a year following his breakthrough as a precocious young coach at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig.
Tuchel, more experienced and established as one of European football’s best tacticians, will hope to have immediate success as he did after taking the Chelsea job in January 2021.
The former Dortmund head coach won the Champions League just a few months after his arrival in west London - beating Guardiola's City in the final - and immediately galvanised a team underperforming in the Premier League.
Tuchel is back in Germany for the first time since leaving Dortmund, where he won the DFB-Pokal in 2017 but couldn’t end Bayern’s Bundesliga hegemony.
At Bayern, he will be expected to compete on multiple fronts from the off, and even defeat to City next month will be an early setback.
The high-pressure job will be a challenge for Tuchel, who enjoyed fruitful starts as manager of both PSG and Chelsea but eventually lost both jobs after dips in form.
He joins Bayern at a crucial time, with that meeting against Dortmund preceding a German Cup quarter-final against Freiburg and a league encounter against the same opponents before the first of two Champions League clashes with Guardiola's men.