Bayern Munich have sacked manager Louis van Gaal with immediate effect, according to reports in Germany on Sunday.Van Gaal was due to leave the club a year early at the end of the season but the Bayern board decided to fire the 59-year-old Dutchman with five games remaining.
The German club had already announced that Van Gaal would be replaced by Bayer Leverkusen’s Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season, but a 1-1 draw at Nurnberg on Saturday has prompted them into action prematurely.
The draw saw Bayern concede third place, and Champions League qualification, to Hannover with only five games left in the Bundesliga season.
Van Gaal guided Bayern to a league and cup double last season, but the 22-time German champions currently lie fourth in the Bundesliga, 14 points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Respected publications Bild and Kicker both report that Bayern chose to dismiss Van Gaal following the result, with his assistant Andries Jonker expected to take charge for the remainder of the season.
Board members Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeness and Karl Hopfner are believed to have met with sporting director Christian Nerlinger and taken the decision late on Saturday.
Bayern’s domestic form has been poor this campaign and they now risk missing out on the lucrative European competition in a year in which the final will be held in Munich.
Bayern’s next fixture is against Leverkusen, meaning Heynckes could well deal a further setback to the European aspirations of the team he will coach next season.