BERLIN: Bayern Munich announced on Wednesday they had signed goalkeeping coach Michael Rechner to replace sacked Toni Tapalovic, whose firing kicked off a war of words at the club.
Bayern will pay a “six figure transfer fee” to Hoffenheim for the 42-year-old goalkeeping coach, according to German news outlet Kicker.
Tapalovic, a close friend of Bayern captain and injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, was fired in January, having arrived at the club with Neuer from Schalke in 2011.
In response to the sacking, Neuer, who is out with a broken leg from a skiing accident in December, gave an interview saying he felt “his heart was being ripped out” and said the sacking was “the worst thing he had endured in his career”.
Neuer’s interview resulted in waves of criticism from Bayern’s hierarchy, including sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic who said on Sunday that Neuer was “putting his personal interests above the interests of the club”, and said “as captain I would have expected a different attitude from him”.
Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann, who is widely believed to have been behind the sacking, was also critical of Neuer, telling German media on Sunday “I wouldn’t have done the interview”.
Nagelsmann previously worked with Rechner during his decade-long stint at Hoffenheim first as under-17s manager and then head coach.
Hoffenheim released a statement on Wednesday saying Rechner’s departure was “the end of an era”, thanking the coach for his 15 years of service at the club. – AFP