Veteran Heynckes on verge of return to Bayern as interim coach

Munich - Jupp Heynckes is on the verge of a sensational comeback to Bayern Munich by stepping out of retirement to coach the team until the end of the season

The Bild newspaper reported late Wednesday that Heynckes was set to return and on Thursday a reliable club source confirmed to dpa that only details remained to be finalised. He could be announced by the club within days.
Heynckes, 72, has not worked in football since leaving Bayern in 2013 after winning the treble of Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.
He would take the role until the end of the current campaign following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti last week. Caretaker Willy Sagnol coached the team to a 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Bayern are presently second in the Bundesliga, five points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, and dismissed Ancelotti after a 3-0 Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain.
According to Bild, club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge want the next coach to have previous experience at Bayern - seemingly ruling out one of the favourites, the currently clubless Thomas Tuchel.
Appointing Heynckes on a short-term basis could imply Bayern wish to move for highly-rated Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann next summer.
Heynckes previously coached Bayern 1987-91, winning two Bundesliga titles. He returned briefly in 2009 to ensure Champions League qualification following the reign of Juergen Klinsmann.
But it was in his last spell, starting 2011, with the record champions he truly wrote himself into Bayern history. After finishing runners-up in the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League in 2012, Heynckes led the team to the unprecedented treble a year later.
Successors Pep Guardiola and Ancelotti retained the Bundesliga but neither reached the final of the Champions League.
Heynckes is one of an elite group of five coaches - along with Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jose Mourinho and Ancelotti - to have won the European Cup/Champions League with two different clubs having also taken the 1998 title with Real Madrid.
As a player with Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1970s he won four Bundesliga titles, a German Cup, a UEFA Cup and was part of the West Germany squad which lifted the European Championship in 1972 and the home World Cup two years later.
Nagelsmann is only 30 years old but is widely considered one of the most promising coaches in Germany. He became the youngest Bundesliga coach in history when he took over Hoffenheim, aged 28, in 2016.
He guided Hoffenheim to a best-ever fourth-place finish in 2017 but lost a play-off to enter the Champions League against Liverpool earlier this season. They are currently third in the Bundesliga, behind Bayern on goal difference.
On Thursday a Hoffenheim spokesman said Bayern had not approached them over Nagelsmann, who has several years left on his contract to 2021.
Nagelsmann, a Bavarian native, previously said the Bayern "already play something of a bigger role in my dreams," though later apologized to Ancelotti by text message for the comments and clarified he was not pushing for the job.
But Hoffenheim's major backer Dietmar Hopp has also already acknowledged that a Bayern move would likely prove impossible to reject.
"The retention of such an extraordinary coach at a relatively small club is ruled out," he said.
Remarkably, Heynckes claimed his first trophy as a coach, the 1987 German Super Cup with Bayern, when Nagelsmann was just five days old.


Thursday, October 5th 2017
By Manuel Schwarz and Klaus Bergmann, dpa

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