Felix Magath leaves Shandong Luneng, following Scolari, AVB out of China
Felix Magath has become the latest high-profile foreign coach to leave the Chinese Super League (CSL) after Shandong Luneng announced on Friday the veteran German would not be extending his stay with the club.
The announcement of Magath's departure comes a day after Andre Villas-Boas' association with Shanghai SIPG officially came to an end. Former China international Li Xiaopeng has been named as Magath's replacement.
"The contract between Shandong Luneng Taishan Football Club and Mr. Magath has expired and, after friendly discussions, the two sides have decided not to renew," Shandong said in a statement issued on social media.
Official: Felix Magath and Shandong Luneng part ways. Li Xiaopeng will be Luneng's head coach in the new season. pic.twitter.com/I3RwXaG7AO— Yixin Li (@FRsoccerYixin) December 1, 2017
"Since taking office in June 2016, Mr. Magath has further enhanced the team's will, the quality of training and the athletic performance through his hard work.
"Mr. Magath's professional attitude and dedication won the club's respect and made him a fan favourite.
"We sincerely thank him for his hard work and wish Mr. Magath the best for the future."
Magath took over from Brazilian coach Mano Menezes with the club in danger of being relegated, but the former Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg steered Shandong to safety.
He then oversaw a rebuilding process last year and eventually led Shandong to sixth place in the CSL standings. Only their faltering form late in the season saw them miss out on a place in next year's AFC Champions League.
Magath's departure follows Villas-Boas' move away from Shanghai SIPG and the departure of Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led Guangzhou Evergrande to the CSL title.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch