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Thomas Tuchel to leave Bayern Munich in summer: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Xabi Alonso, Zinedine Zidane potential successors

Xabi Alonso and Zinedine Zidane targets as Bayern Munich confirm they will part ways with Thomas Tuchel this summer; ex-Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a shock potential interim solution should the German side be forced to make a change before the end of the season

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The Football Show look at why Thomas Tuchel and Bayern Munich are parting ways and what has gone wrong during his time in charge

Liverpool target Xabi Alonso is Bayern Munich's No 1 choice to succeed Thomas Tuchel after the Bundesliga champions confirmed they will part ways with the manager this summer – while they are also looking at Zinedine Zidane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The pressure increased on Tuchel after Sunday's 3-2 loss at Bochum left his side eight points behind Alonso's Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen and condemned Bayern to a third defeat in a row after they were beaten 1-0 at Lazio in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie last week.

Facing a first trophyless season in 12 years, Bayern's primary plan was to reach the end of the campaign with Tuchel and assess the situation, but they announced on Wednesday that the former Chelsea boss will leave the club.

"We have agreed that we will end our working relationship at the end of this season," said Tuchel.

"Until then, I will of course continue to do everything I can with my coaching staff to achieve maximum success."

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Highlights as Bochum defeat Bayern Munich 3-2 to mount pressure on Thomas Tuchel as they fail to close the gap on leaders Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen added: "In an open, good conversation we came to the decision to mutually end our collaboration in the summer. Our goal is to carry out a sporting realignment with a new coach for the 2024/25 season.

"Until then, every individual at the club is expressly called upon to achieve the maximum possible in the Champions League and Bundesliga.

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"I also explicitly hold the team accountable in this regard. In the Champions League in particular, after losing 1-0 in the first leg at Lazio, we are convinced we will reach the quarter-finals at a packed Allianz Arena with our fans behind us."

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Jamie Carragher analyses Bayer Leverkusen's style of football under Xabi Alonso

Work is going on in the background regarding Tuchel's successor and Alonso is considered the preferred solution internally.

The former Liverpool midfielder is the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield this summer after impressing at Leverkusen.

Klopp has recently hailed the Spaniard as the "standout" manager from the new generation of bosses.

Another of the most prominent candidates Bayern have been thinking about, in the past few hours and days, is ex-Real Madrid head coach Zidane.

Zidane resigned from his second stint as Real Madrid manager in May 2021
Image: Zinedine Zidane resigned from his second stint as Real Madrid manager in May 2021

There is nothing concrete at this stage, but what Bayern appreciate about the Frenchman is his aura and experience while he is also immediately available.

The 51-year-old, who has been without a job since leaving Real in May 2021, won the Champions League three times in his managerial time at the Spanish club, while he also led them to the LaLiga title twice.

Solskjaer could become interim boss if Tuchel exits earlier

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is interviewed at the end of the Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday October 30, 2021.
Image: Ex-Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has emerged as a shock candidate to succeed Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel

Bayern have also been looking at former Manchester United boss Solskjaer as a potential interim solution.

Bayern sporting director Christoph Freund knows Solskjaer very well and has been following the Norwegian's path for years. However, there have not yet been any concrete discussions about that eventuality.

Sky in Germany understand Solskjaer would be willing to sign a contract until the end of the season at Bayern.

Solskjaer has been without a job since being sacked by United in November 2021. He spent nearly three years in charge at Old Trafford as he guided United to second in the 2020/21 season and lost the 2021 Europa League final on penalties to Villarreal.

The 50-year-old is currently employed as a UEFA technical observer, attending Champions League games and providing reports throughout this season.

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We look at the highs and lows of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's managerial spell at Man Utd

Discussing the potential candidates, Sky Germany's Felix Fischer said: "It would be very difficult to get Alonso now, of course. There's no chance because he wants to win three titles with Bayer Leverkusen. It's not an option for now. But for the future, they really have Alonso on their mind as an ex-player and as a really good coach.

"Zidane is on the list, he was a big player and was really successful as a coach already for Real Madrid. But as far as we know, there hasn't been any contact yet.

"The same counts for Solskjaer. He is a true legend of Manchester United and he became a nightmare for Bayern during the Champions League final in 1999."

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Sky Germany's Felix Fischer looks at the candidates who could replace Thomas Tuchel

With Bayern, Liverpool and, reportedly, Real Madrid circling, is it inevitable Alonso will leave Bayer Leverkusen?

Fischer added: "It isn't. One of the bosses said that he is certain Alonso will stay at the club. Those words can change, but it's all in the hands of Alonso. He will decide which step is best for him and which he will take next.

"If he wants to stay with Leverkusen and be successful with that club, he will do that. If there is really a chance to join Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp leaves, or Real Madrid if Carlo Ancelotti leaves or at Bayern if Tuchel leaves, he will do what feels right to him."

Klopp to Bayern this summer 'completely unrealistic'

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European football expert Kevin Hatchard says Jurgen Klopp has been on Bayern Munch's radar for a long time but won't end up there this summer as it would 'invalidate' everything he said about leaving Liverpool

Tuchel's exit has raised the possibility of Klopp replacing him at Bayern after he leaves Anfield at the end of the season, but the Liverpool boss' agent Marc Kosicke told Sky Germany his client will not return to management for at least 12 months as previously planned.

"Jurgen Klopp will not be managing a club or a national team for a year after this season. This is how it stays," Kosicke said.

European football expert Kevin Hatchard added: "I think Jurgen Klopp is a man of principle and if you look at his career, he means what he says. I think he genuinely does need that sabbatical and I think he will step away for a fair bit of time.

"Bayern would love Klopp and he's been on their radar for a long time, which makes perfect sense. But I think it's completely unrealistic for this summer.

"There's no way he leaves Liverpool and then jumps straight into another job, because that invalidates everything he's said."

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Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp hailed potential successor Xabi Alonso as a 'standout' manager after his incredible season so far with Bayer Leverkusen

'Kane's goals helped Tuchel paper over the cracks'

Hatchard on what has gone wrong for Tuchel at Bayern Munich:

"I think it's a mix of things. If you go back to last season when he was appointed, I said at the time I felt it was too hasty to get rid of Julian Nagelsmann. If he was given time, there was the potential to build something quite exciting there.

"Thomas Tuchel came in and Bayern had some really inconsistent performances and, let's be honest, they shouldn't have won the league last season. It was all there for Borussia Dortmund - if they had won their final game at home to Mainz, then Bayern wouldn't have won the league, so they weren't massively impressive at the back end of last season under Tuchel.

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European football expert Kevin Hatchard says Bayern Munich are a team that have 'stalled' under the management of Thomas Tuchel

"Tactically, there has also been a feeling that even against moderate teams, Bayern could be got at and you could counter-attack against them. They were also asking their centre-backs to do too much.

"Some of the raw numbers are good. They've scored a lot of goals and they've got over 50 points in the Bundesliga, but I feel like that and the goals of Harry Kane have papered over some pretty big cracks."

Bayern could rival Liverpool for Alonso

Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:

It is testament not only to his suitability for the role, but his status as the next top manager that Xabi Alonso is spoken about separately in the discussion for the Liverpool job to succeed Jurgen Klopp. There is Xabi, and then The Others.

It is a consequence of his small yet sublime body of work so far; the construction at Real Sociedad B, leading them back to the Segunda Division for the first time since 1961-62 and then quickly transforming Bayer Leverkusen into a tactically supreme unbeaten machine.

Only Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich have ever set a better pace atop the Bundesliga. Leverkusen have not been beaten in 32 matches across all competitions, are in the German Cup semi-finals, and the last 16 of the Europa League. They are on a special run and are primed to make history this season.

Leverkusen play with panache and intelligence; lionising possession but also shifting to control the game without the ball as they showcased in a 3-0 masterclass against Bayern.

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Melissa Reddy discusses the favourite candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season and why Liverpool will be interested in them

There have been attempts to suggest Alonso's approach jars with the more direct and transitional qualities of Liverpool's squad. While Bayer do employ a more patient build-up that is comparable to Manchester City, his Real Sociedad B were much less geared to short passing. Alonso has illustrated his adaptability already between those clubs, but also against different opponents.

He already feels like a Liverpool manager, and that's without factoring in his understanding of, and bond with the club developed during five seasons of setting the tempo in their midfield.

Alonso fits the dynamic of an exciting, young team heaving with potential that will need some nips, tucks and to create a new story.

There are complexities; he is still early into his Bayer project and ideally would have mapped a longer period of construction with them. Alonso's focus, rightly, is on crowing a fantastic season with top honours.

The club don't want to lose him, but know he will have his pick of options - Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will soon be knocking too - and can decide his timing.

Liverpool would not want to do anything to disrupt Alonso's current work. He is worth the patience though, and doing whatever is necessary to get.

Alonso gets Klopp's seal of approval

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

"Jurgen Klopp said last week that if you were talking in general terms about up-and-coming young managers then Xabi Alonso is the standout.

"He's the one who is really making waves in European football. It's no secret that he is very close to being the top candidate to take over from Klopp himself at Anfield.

"Liverpool are going through a very detailed recruitment process and are analysing all the data, but may believe once they have done that they will come up with Xabi Alonso as the standout candidate to take over from Klopp.

"What is interesting is whether it will come down to solely Alonso to decide where he goes next? Or will he decide to stay at Leverkusen, if he were to win the title?

"If he won the treble at Leverkusen, might he think he is building something special there, it's too early in his career to take the next step. Or, might he think that he had great times at Liverpool, I won the Champions League there, my son is a Liverpool supporter, that is the club for me.

"But he also played for Bayern Munich and won lots of trophies there. Will it be down to him and will it be just an emotional decision where he picks between Liverpool, Bayern or Leverkusen? He could just hold out for the Real Madrid job in the future."

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