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By ESPN Staff

Bayern coach Hitzfeld will step down in June

Ottmar Hitzfeld confirmed on Wednesday that he will leave Bayern Munich when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The 58-year-old informed the Bavarian giants before Christmas of his intention to quit the Allianz Arena.

'Three weeks ago I let the club know about my decision to quit next summer,' he said.

'In the next six months I will try to be successful and win as many titles as possible. After that I will back down a little.'

An offer of a new contract was by no means a certainty with Hitzfeld currently under pressure after an inconsistent run of results prior to the winter break.

Although Bayern still ended 2007 on top of the Bundesliga and enjoyed a convincing 6-0 win over Aris Salonika to reach the UEFA Cup round of 32, the former Borussia Dortmund boss' position remained under threat.

Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness admitted earlier on Wednesday that he expected Hitzfeld to leave in the summer.

'It is to be expected that he will not be staying, although he will be here until June,' Hoeness told the Bild newspaper.

Hitzfeld has been heavily linked with taking over as coach of Switzerland and held talks with a representative of the Swiss FA over the festive period.

He returned for a second spell at Bayern in February 2007 after the club sacked Felix Magath.

He could not inspire them to qualify for the Champions League, however, as they finished fourth.

A summer recruitment drive saw the likes of Franck Ribery, Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose arrive and the early signs were promising as they surged to the top of the standings with some resounding wins.

However, their form has tailed off since then with a run of four successive goalless draws prompting the first calls for change from sections of the Allianz Arena crowd.

Marco van Basten is reportedly Bayern's number one choice to replace Hitzfeld.