Rangnick opts to stay as Austria coach, dealing blow to Bayern

The 65-year-old had been tipped to replace Tuchel

AFP May 02, 2024


Ralf Rangnick said on Thursday he wished to continue as Austria head coach, with Euro 2024 the immediate goal, delivering a fresh blow to Bayern Munich in their search for a replacement for outgoing boss Thomas Tuchel.

The 65-year-old former Manchester United interim manager had been tipped to replace Tuchel, who leaves at the end of the season after just two years in charge, having failed to secure Bayern a 12th successive Bundesliga crown.

Austria have discovered a rich run of form since Rangnick took over in April 2022, winning 11 of their past 14 matches, losing just one.

However, the Austrians have a tough group to negotiate their way through at Euro 2024.

They kick off their campaign in Germany against France on June 17, followed by Poland four days later and round it off against the Netherlands on June 25.

"I am the Austrian team boss with all my heart," Rangnick said in a statement released by the Austrian FA (OeFB) on Thursday.

"This task gives me incredible joy and I am determined to successfully continue on our chosen path.

"I would like to expressly emphasise that this is not a rejection of FC Bayern, but a decision for my team and our common goals. Our full concentration is on the European Championship.

"We will do everything we can to get as far as possible."

Austrian FA sporting director Peter Schoettel said he was "extremely happy".

"We understood that he had two very attractive options and gave him the time to weigh everything up in peace," he said.

"We are proud that he has decided for Austria."

Rangnick is the latest high profile coach who has preferred to remain in his present job and not take the Bayern post.

Xabi Alonso, who guided Bayer Leverkusen to their first Bundesliga title, ending Bayern's 11-year stranglehold, and Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann also reportedly declined their advances.

In April, former midfielder Alonso disappointed not only Bayern but another of his former clubs Liverpool when he pledged himself to Leverkusen.

Nagelsmann ended any hopes of him returning to Bayern for the moment as he extended his deal with the national team.

Tuchel still has a chance of bowing out with a second Champions League crown, having won with Chelsea in 2021.

Bayern travel to Real Madrid for next Wednesday's second leg of their semi-final tied at 2-2.


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