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Nagelsmann extends contract with Germany, Bayern left still searching

Julian Nagelsmann Julian Nagelsmann - The Canadian Press

BERLIN (AP) — Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann has extended his contract by two years, taking him beyond the upcoming European Championship and through the 2026 World Cup.

It also rules out Nagelsmann returning to Bayern Munich, which is looking for a new coach for next season after deciding to part ways with Thomas Tuchel at the end of this season.

Nagelsmann was the reported favorite following Xabi Alonso’s decision to stay with Bayer Leverkusen. Bayern has to look elsewhere after two high-profile rejections.

Bayern honorary president Uli Hoeness confirmed Nagelsmann had been a candidate for Bayern — “one of several” — in comments to local broadcaster BR24. Hoeness added he respected Nagelsmann's decision. “It’s a shame but it doesn’t mean the end of the world for FC Bayern,” he said.

The German soccer federation announced on Friday that its supervisory board and shareholders decided unanimously to keep Nagelsmann in charge of the national team after Euro 2024, which Germany is hosting.

“He's on the wish list of many big clubs across Europe,” federation president Bernd Neuendorf said of Nagelsmann.

The 36-year-old Nagelsmann has overseen a change in mood in Germany after wins over France and the Netherlands following a shakeup of the team last month. He was hired in September on what was initially a short-term deal through to Euro 2024 to fix a run of poor games under predecessor Hansi Flick.

Nagelsmann said staying with Germany was “a decision of the heart. It’s a great honor to be able to train the national team and work with the best players in the country.”

Bayern fired Nagelsmann in favor of Tuchel in March 2023. Bayern went on to win the Bundesliga that season, but only on goal difference after an uneasy start to Tuchel's tenure. This season, Bayern failed to win the title for the first time since 2012 after Bayer Leverkusen won its first title last Sunday.

Tuchel's team is still in contention in the last four of the Champions League after beating Arsenal in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Speaking on Friday ahead of playing Union Berlin on Saturday, Tuchel dismissed any speculation that his team's success in the Champions League could lead to him staying past the end of the season. “I have an agreement with the club. It’s been communicated and still stands," he said.

The two key management figures involved in Bayern's decision to fire Nagelsmann a year ago, Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic, both left the club shortly after. Bayern's new sporting director Max Eberl said on Wednesday that the search for a new coach was entering “the final phase” in comments reported by the dpa news agency. He didn't name any candidates.

Nagelsmann's Germany is on the up after losses last year to Turkey and Austria put the coach under some pressure. Nagelsmann has three wins, one draw and two losses from six games, all of them friendlies.

Germany knows extending a coach's contract ahead of a tournament can backfire.

When Germany gave Joachim Löw a new four-year deal a month before the 2018 World Cup, it was a vote of confidence in the coach who led the team to the World Cup title four years earlier.

Germany went on to exit the 2018 tournament in the group stage and Löw eventually left in 2021 following a loss to England in the round of 16 at the European Championship.


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