Hansi Flick has admitted he is mulling over his future as Bayern Munich coach after the holders were knocked out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain at the quarter-finals stage. Bayern’s 1-0 return-leg win in Paris on Tuesday was not enough to overturn last week’s 3-2 first-leg defeat in Munich as PSG moved into the semi-finals on away goals at the Germans’ expense.
“Everyone understands that I am thinking about my future,” Flick said after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s goal against his former club proved insufficient at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday. Flick has been under noticeable strain in recent weeks with tensions running high between him and Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. The 56-year-old Flick has also been tipped to become Germany’s next head coach when Joachim Loew steps down after the Euro 2020 finals this summer.
For now, Flick, whose Bayern contract runs until 2023, says he “first wants to process the elimination” and “assess the situation. I also have my own ideas.”
Ultimately, a PSG side boasting the talent of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe was too good for a depleted Bayern team missing injured top scorer Robert Lewandowksi. Under Flick, Bayern won all six titles available in the last 12 months, defeating PSG in last season’s Champions League final in Lisbon.
However, elimination from both the Champions League and German Cup means only the Bundesliga is still in play with leaders Bayern five points clear and on course to win the German league for the ninth straight year.
Flick hinted he is unhappy with the situation at Bayern: “My family, no matter what I would do, would always support me... what matters to them is that I enjoy my job”.
Clear the air talks are planned in Munich between Flick and Bayern board member Oliver Kahn. No date has been set, “but I have time. If he (Kahn) feels like chatting with me, he’s welcome to do so,” Flick added.
Before kick-off in Paris, Flick was eager to play down his feud with Salihamidzic. “This is not about ‘Brazzo’ (Salihamidzic) or me, it’s about the club. He does his job, I do mine,” said Flick. “We are concentrating on what is important for the club,” he added, insisting “there is always too much being read into” the relationship between the pair.
However, former Bayern captain Lothar Matthaeus expects Flick to leave at the end of the season. “That was Hansi Flick’s last Champions League game as coach of FC Bayern,” Matthaeus said in his role as a Sky pundit after the game.
He is convinced Flick has already spoken to the German Football Association (DFB) about replacing Loew as head coach of the national side. Matthaeus, 60, who captained West Germany to the 1990 World Cup title, said RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is being lined up to replace Flick.
However Nagelsmann later denied the claim, the 33-year-old insisting that “there were and are no talks” with Bayern. At Bayern, Flick has clearly grown frustrated with Salihamidzic, his immediate boss, over recruitment.
Salihamidzic has said 32-year-old Jerome Boateng will not be offered a contract extension for next season, while Flick has made it clear he wanted to keep the experienced centre-back. Flick’s predecessor Niko Kovac, now coaching French side Monaco, can sympathise with Flick.
“You want to be involved in squad planning,” Kovac said. “We all know how it works in Munich” where Salihamidzic, not Flick, is in charge of recruitment. With their dreams of defending the Champions League now snuffed out, Flick says winning the Bundesliga is “our minimum goal and not a consolation prize”.
The team has to brush off the disappointment and focus on winning on Saturday at Wolfsburg, who are third in the Bundesliga. “We have to function again,” said a glum-faced Flick.
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