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Apr 27, 2009

Klinsmann sacked as manager of Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich have sacked coach Jurgen Klinsmann and appointed Jupp Heynckes for the final five games of the season.

The Bundesliga champions have failed to hit top gear and have not been top of the table all season. They also exited the Champions League at the quarter-final stage following a heavy loss at Barcelona.

Klinsmann has been in charge of the defending Bundesliga champions since last July, but Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Schalke proved to be the final act for the former Germany international.

Bayern are currently third in the Bundesliga standings, just three points off Vfl Wolfsburg at the summit but clinging on to the final Champions League berth for next term on goal difference from VfB Stuttgart and Hamburg SV.

The job was the 44-year-old's first at club level after managing the national team on home soil at the 2006 World Cup, losing in the semi-finals.

Klinsmann's fate was sealed after a meeting with club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, general manager Uli Hoeness and director Karl Hopfner on Monday.

Heynckes' finest hour came as coach of Real Madrid in 1998 when they won the Champions League, and he was promptly sacked.

The 63-year-old, who was Bayern head coach from 1987 to 1991, will take over from Tuesday and will be assisted by Hermann Gerland, who has been coaching the reserve team since 2001.

Earlier on Monday reports in the UK press suggested that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had rejected an approach from the German club, who invited the Frenchman to name his own terms.

Bayern chairman Rummenigge claimed the change at the helm was necessary due to disappointing recent results.

He said: "It was a difficult decision, but the results from the last weeks, the way they came about and especially the situation five rounds before the end of the season forced us to act due to due our responsibility towards the club.

"With Jupp Heynckes and (assistant) Hermann Gerland we have two experienced coaches, to whom we have handed the management of the team until the end of the season.''

A statement on the Bavarian club's website confirmed the board had "informed Jurgen Klinsmann this morning that it had decided to end its cooperation as of today''.

It added: "This also applies to the assistant coaches Martin Vasquez and Nick Theslof.''

With five matches to go, Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer has already admitted his club are "playing for second place'' in the Bundesliga.

Since the record German champions can ill-afford a year out of Europe's premier club competition, the board have made the decision to appoint Heynckes - who led them to the Bundesliga title in 1989 - in a bid to salvage what can still be salvaged from this season.

"The board has seen the minimum aim for the season come under threat with the recent results and has therefore decided to take this step,'' continued the statement.

"The board thanks Jurgen Klinsmann and his coaching team for their work and wish them all the best for the future.''

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