Heynckes backs Tuchel for Bayern Munich job

Thomas Tuchel is a leading candidate to replace Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich next season, according to the 72-year-old departing coach.

Former Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel   -  Bongarts

Jupp Heynckes has backed Thomas Tuchel to replace him as Bayern Munich coach when he steps aside at the end of the season.

Heynckes returned for a fourth spell in charge of the Bundesliga leaders in September after Carlo Ancelotti was fired following a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Bayern had been a shadow of their former selves early in the campaign but under the 72-year-old they have impressed – only losing one game in all competitions.

They top the Bundesliga once again, are in the DFB-Pokal semis and have one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals after thrashing Besiktas 5-0 in the last-16 first leg.

Heynckes has no intention of staying on beyond May despite his success, though, with his replacement a hot topic of conversation in Germany.

Julian Nagelsmann was reportedly the number one candidate but Heynckes believes former Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel is a strong candidate.

"I think that Thomas Tuchel has the quality to train a Bayern," he told Bild. "I appreciate Thomas Tuchel, he made his way through the ranks at Mainz from the youth teams. 

"That is a ladder you have to take: you learn the right approach, dealing with people.

"Borussia Dortmund then played great football under Tuchel, with good system. All the modern elements that are part of today's football were available. 

"Tuchel became runner-up, cup winner and played attractive football. I enjoyed watching his BVB. That's why I appreciate him and consider him a very good coach."

Whoever does assume the head coach role going forward, Heynckes expects them to be German as Bayern's approach changes.

He added: "It used to be about international coaches, who already had won the Champions League or were at least coaches with clubs like Barca.

"Now the discussion revolves around the German coaches, and I like that. The club knows what it wants. They have learned that the German language is very hard to learn for foreign coaches. 

"The identity is better maintained by a German-speaking coach. This realisation has prevailed among those responsible."

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