Rummenigge to step down early as Bayern chairman

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is stepping down as Bayern Munich chairman six month earlier than anticipated.

Rummenigge was due to leave the Bundesliga champions at the end of 2021 but has brought forward his departure to June 30.

Former Bayern and Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn will take over from Rummenigge, who has been on Bayern’s board for almost 30 years.

Rummenigge is reported to have argued for the change to be made early to avoid a 2021-22 season being split under two different leaders.

“A hugely successful era is coming to an end at FC Bayern,” a club statement said.

“At his own request and in close consultation with president and supervisory board chairman Herbert Hainer and the supervisory board, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will retire from his position as CEO of FC Bayern München AG with effect from 30 June 2021.”

The 65-year-old also played for Bayern for 10 years and made 95 appearances for West Germany, winning the European Championship in 1980.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (AP)
Rummenigge has enjoyed unprecedented success with Bayern in recent years

He is the last member of the trio, along with Beckenbauer and former longtime president Uli Hoeness, who turned Bayern into a European and domestic sporting and financial powerhouse, to leave the club.

“Strategically it is the most logical time to do it,” Rummenigge said. “It is the end of the fiscal year and the start of a new coaching team.

“It is a departure filled with satisfaction and pride that I hand over the club that is intact on a sporting level as well as financially and structurally.”

Rummenigge has enjoyed unprecedented success with Bayern in recent years, with the club winning 14 of the last 19 league titles since the 2002-03 season.

They have also won nine straight league titles after clinching the Bundesliga crown last month. Bayern also won six domestic and international titles in 2019-20, including the Champions League and club World Cup.

Alaba joins Real Madrid on five-year deal

Real Madrid have signed David Alaba from Bayern Munich on a five-year contract.

Sky in Germany reports the deal with Real that will earn him around £10.5m per year following the expiration of his Bayern contract.

Real Madrid confirmed the signing on Friday evening and said Alaba would be unveiled after Euro 2020.

Alaba had been at Bayern since 2008 but turned down multiple offers to extend his contract, including a €15m-a-year deal, but talks ceased in November.

He enjoyed a prolific 13 years in Bavaria, winning 10 Bundesliga titles, two Champions Leagues and six German Cups.

The Austria international had also been attracting interest from Premier League sides, including Liverpool and Manchester City.

City tried to lure Alaba to Manchester last summer and had hoped to include him as part of the deal which saw Leroy Sane move to Munich.

Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus were also understood to be keen on signing the 28-year-old.

Conte in frame for Real

Antonio Conte is being considered as Zinedine Zidane’s successor at Real Madrid after they missed out on first-choice Max Allegri, according to Sky in Italy.

Former Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte
Former Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte could be set to move to Real Madrid

After Zinedine Zidane stepped down from the Bernabeu for a second time this week, the Spanish giants had been hoping to appoint long-term target Allegri – but he is set for a sensational return to Juventus to replace Andrea Pirlo, who was sacked on Friday.

They have now turned to Conte, who is a free agent after parting company with Inter Milan on Wednesday despite leading them to the Serie A title, due to the club’s need to make significant financial cuts.

Conte is a prolific title-winner with Juventus himself, as well as Chelsea and now Inter.

Bayern confirm Richards move

Bayern Munich have announced the signing of former England Under-21 international Omar Richards, who will head to the Bundesliga giants this summer when his contract at Reading expires.

The 23-year-old academy product has banked in excess of 100 appearances in all competitions for Reading since the start of the 2017 campaign and 41 of those have come in the Sky Bet Championship this season.

But the left-back has opted for a fresh start in Germany and has agreed a deal that runs until 2025 with Bayern, who have handed their incoming recruit the number three shirt previously worn by Xabi Alonso.

“My move to FC Bayern is a great honour for me, a dream come true,” said Richards, who made his only appearance for England Under-21s as a substitute in October 2019 in a 2-2 draw in Slovenia.

“I’m proud to be wearing the shirt of one of the world’s biggest clubs. I hope I can help the team continue to be successful in the future.

“My thanks to the management at FC Bayern for their trust. Our conversations were very convincing. I can’t wait to be on the pitch for Bayern.”

Reading say they offered Richards a new contract but he ultimately decided to head to the six-time European Cup champions when his existing deal expires next month.

Bayern’s board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic said: “We’re delighted Omar is coming to FC Bayern.

“Omar is a technically gifted player on the left side of defence. He finds good solutions going forward, he’s very alert and we trust him to play a good role in our team.”

Barca and Bayern target Wijnaldum signing

Barcelona and Bayern Munich are trying to sign Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer this summer.

Wijnaldum, 30, confirmed on Sunday he will leave Liverpool at the end of his contract next month after five years at the club.

The Netherlands midfielder, who will captain his country at this summer’s Euros, is also a target for four other unnamed clubs.

Wijnaldum, who has made 237 appearances for Liverpool since he joined from Newcastle in July 2016, won the Champions League and Premier League in consecutive seasons during his spell at Anfield.


Wijnaldum says he had hoped to play ‘many more years for the club’ and would like to explain the story behind his departure at a later date

“I hoped to play many more years for the club but unfortunately things went different, I think everyone knows in football that anything can happen but the situation right now is that on July 1 I’m not a Liverpool player anymore,” Wijnaldum told Sky Sports after Liverpool’s win against Crystal Palace secured Champions League qualification.

In a social media post later on Sunday, he added: “I would have loved to remain a Liverpool player for many more years, but unfortunately things went different. I have to start a new adventure.”


Wijnaldum was given a guard of honour and a special presentation in what looked likely to be his final game for Liverpool

Wijnaldum was the subject of transfer interest from Barcelona over the past year, with current boss Ronald Koeman keen to bring his countryman to the Nou Camp.

Sky Sports analyse the plans and priorities for Liverpool as they look to strengthen the centre of their defence, while the Reds may also be on the lookout for a replacement in midfield for Wijnaldum.

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Germany confirm Flick as head coach to replace Low

Germany have confirmed that Hansi Flick will replace Joachim Low as head coach after this summer’s European Championships. Germans are expecting powerplay with him as a leader.

Flick, who will in turn be replaced by Julian Nagelsmann at Bayern Munich, was one of Low’s assistants during their victorious World Cup campaign in 2014.

Flick became Bayern boss in November 2019 and won two Bundesliga titles and the 2019-20 Champions League, as well as four other trophies.

The 56-year-old will now look to guide Germany to victory on home soil when they host the European Championship in 2024.

“It all went surprisingly quickly for me with the signature, but I am very happy to be able to work as national coach from autumn onwards,” said Flick.

“The season has just ended and the two years at Bayern Munich will help. The team spirit and the attitude of the players were outstanding, and I’ll take a lot with me that will continue to shape my work.

PA - Germany manager Joachim Low
Joachim Low will step down as Germany boss after 15 years in the role

“I’m really looking forward to it because I can see the great quality of the players, especially the young players in Germany.

“We have every reason to approach the upcoming tournaments with optimism, for example the European Championship at home in 2024.

“In addition, I know from experience that with Olivier Bierhoff [head of national teams and academy] I have a strong, trustworthy partner by my side.

Joachim Low and Hansi Flick won the World Cup together back in 2014
Low and Flick won the World Cup together in 2014

“I am also looking forward to contributing my ideas and ideas beyond the national team to the academy and the other national [age group] teams.

“The important thing now is not what will happen in September…but the upcoming European Championship, for which I wish Jogi Low, Marcus Sorg, Andy Kopke and the team the greatest possible success.

“Jogi Low more than deserves a big end to his career as national coach.”

Bierhoff is also looking to working with his former international team-mate.

“I am very proud that we have succeeded in signing Hansi Flick for the post of national coach,” he said.

“He was, from the start, at the top of my wish list. I have known and appreciated the human and professional qualities of Hansi Flick since our many successful years together with the national team.”