Bayern Munich's honorary president Franz Beckenbauer fears his club's coach Louis van Gaal will walk away when his contract expires at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Van Gaal arrived in Bavaria 12 months ago and, despite some early difficulties, led the club to a league and cup double and an appearance in the final of the Champions League.
However, his contract only runs until next summer and the Dutchman has repeatedly hinted that he would like to coach a national team.
Beckenbauer therefore believes the upcoming season could be Van Gaal's last on the Bayern bench.
"He is approaching 60 so it is understandable that he eventually gets sick of day-to-day training and that he wants a bit of freedom,'' Beckenbauer said in the Abendzeitung newspaper.
"A national-team coaching position would be the ideal job (for him). I can understand his longing to get one.''
However, Beckenbauer has not given up hope that Van Gaal, who turns 59 next Monday, will commit himself to another few years in the Bayern hotseat when new contract talks are opened.
"Of course I would hope so,'' Beckenbauer said. "He regards Bayern highly and knows what he has got here.
"The team took a few months to understand his philosophy, but now it has bedded in and the team is still young so he could still develop and enhance things further.''