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Premier League

Schalke dismiss Heynckes link

Schalke have described reports that they want Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes to take over next season as "pure speculation".

The Royal Blues, currently coached by Jens Keller, have reportedly been looking at other options, and Bild claims they want to bring in former boss Heynckes this summer.

Despite general manager Horst Heldt's vow to stick with Keller until the summer, the Gelsenkirchen club have not indicated that they are willing to retain his services beyond that.

The Bild report says Schalke will be contacting Heynckes - who will step down from his job at Bayern at the end of the season to pave the way for Pep Guardiola - within the next few days.

However, both clubs have moved to deny the story.

Heldt said the rumour was "pure speculation" and told Die Welt: "Another name is thrown into the mix and, like the other names before, it is speculated. Probably, this will not be the last name. We will no longer comment on it."

Bayern president Uli Hoeness said: "I cannot imagine this will happen. [It] must be an April Fool's joke."

When the Guardiola appointment was announced in January, Bayern officials revealed that Heynckes would be retiring at the end of the season. However, the German has insisted that decision will be made by him.

The 67-year-old managed Schalke during the 2003-2004 season. He failed to qualify for Europe, and was sacked the following season after losing three of the first four Bundesliga games.


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