Bayern break silence over Van Gaal
Bayern Munich ended 48 hours of fevered speculation on Monday by announcing coach Louis van Gaal would leave the club at the end of the season.
The Dutchman's position has been under scrutiny following the weekend loss at Hannover, which followed defeats in the Bundesliga to Borussia Dortmund and in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals to Schalke. Van Gaal's current deal will be dissolved 12 months early with a Bayern press release citing a "difference in opinion about the strategic direction of the club".
Executive chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said at a press conference: "We are in a situation that concerns us all. We have suffered three defeats in a week which have jeopardised our targets for the season."
He added: "We (the board) had a chat with Louis van Gaal and have analysed our situation together with him. And despite the fact that in a few months we will go down separate paths we are all in agreement that we have the will to work together to achieve our minimum objectives."
That minimum objective is third place in the Bundesliga and a spot in the qualifying rounds for next season's Champions League. Bayern are currently fifth, five points behind third-placed Hannover.
"Of course we know it's going to be very difficult but we will try anything," said Rummenigge. "Whether we achieve it will be seen over the next nine Bundesliga games."
Bayern's remaining chance of silverware in 2010/11 - not including the pre-season SuperCup - is also the Champions League. Mario Gomez's goal gave Van Gaal's men a 1-0 lead from the first leg of their last-16 tie against Inter Milan at the San Siro.
It seems the long-term solution might be current Bayer Leverkusen boss Jupp Heynckes. He has twice managed Bayern before, leading them to two Bundesliga crowns in his first spell in charge between 1987 and 1991.
Bayer sporting director Rudi Voller is keen, however, to see Heynckes stay on at the BayArena.
He told Bild: "It is clear that such rumours would arise. But Jupp knows what he has at Bayer."
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