Jadon Sancho signed for Borussia Dortmund three months after they last won the DFB-Pokal in May 2017.

Back then, it was Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who scored to see off Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in Berlin. Major transfers followed for both: Dembele was quickly on his way to Barcelona, a €105million replacement for Neymar, while Aubameyang left for Arsenal for a reported €60m the following January.

This year, Dortmund returned to the Olympiastadion for their first Pokal final since, with envious eyes from across the continent casting longing looks again at their best attacking talent: Sancho and Erling Haaland. Inevitably, it was they who settled the contest with RB Leipzig, and before the half-time whistle had even blown.

At least, it feels inevitable with these two. Haaland, who scored the second in a 4-1 win after shunting the imposing frame of Bayern Munich-bound Dayot Upamecano to the ground, has hit 55 goals in 57 games in just under 18 months at the club. Sancho has been directly involved in 105 goals (50 scored, 55 assisted) in 135 Dortmund games. These are breathtaking returns for two players who weren't even teenagers when Dortmund last won the Bundesliga in 2012.

Haaland has always seemed an outlier in the expected development of a young footballer; a striker of such prodigious physical and technical gifts that it seems entirely plausible he was grown in a number nine laboratory. Dortmund are convinced they will keep him for another year and they probably will unless a European giant is capable of throwing a pandemic-defying nine-figure transfer bid their way.

Sancho's rise feels different. He is the product of calculated gambles as well as divine gifts. He is the 17-year-old boy who uprooted from Manchester City to speculate on game time in Germany, who made himself undroppable for one of the country's greatest clubs and was in the team of the season before his 20th birthday.

On Thursday, he was the best player on the pitch as Dortmund ruined Julian Nagelsmann's Leipzig farewell tour, as he became the youngest player to score twice in a DFB-Pokal final – at least until Haaland surpassed him. The transformation from brave kid to matchwinning bravura was complete. This was the dawning of a superstar.

His first goal, a curling effort from the kind of area Thierry Henry spent a career exploiting, was a thumping reminder of his finishing skills. His second was impudent footwork, as he collected Marco Reus' cut-back, danced inside the covering defender, and waited for Peter Gulacsi's despairing dive before putting the ball in the net.

Alongside Reus and Haaland, Sancho was a roving, controlled menace. He drifted into space to the side of the Leipzig back three but timed forward runs to perfection. His performance trod that fine line of spontaneity and foresight: unpredictable for defenders, while his team-mates knew where he'd be. Such a display can only come when talent meets application, and lessons are learned. For a 21-year-old to do it is remarkable. He even managed to make a total mess of overplaying a one-on-one chance before another counter-attack saw him set up Haaland for the fourth late on. He's still learning.

We may be in the final weeks of seeing Sancho as a Dortmund player. You can bet Manchester United's interest will only strengthen once Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches back the highlights of this game, and they won't be alone. With a "gentleman's agreement" in place with Dortmund over his future, this could well be the transfer window where they elect to cash in.

They will do so in the knowledge that Sancho's journey to stardom is complete.

Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland both scored twice as Borussia Dortmund ruthlessly defeated RB Leipzig 4-1 in Thursday's DFB-Pokal final to win the competition for a fifth time.

England winger Sancho netted at the beginning and end of a sensational first 45 minutes for BVB, who added to their advantage through Haaland between those strikes.

This was an impressive display of strength from a Dortmund side with work still to do to secure Champions League qualification, with Haaland's second late on making sure in Berlin after a superb Dani Olmo hit.

The result means Julian Nagelsmann departs Leipzig for Bayern Munich still without the first major trophy of his career and no doubt keen to forget this missed opportunity.

The moves for the first two Dortmund goals started in the same fashion with Leipzig sloppily gifting possession to Marco Reus near halfway.

After five minutes, he took the ball from Kevin Kampl and set in motion a swift attack that passed through Haaland and Mahmoud Dahoud to reach Sancho, who shaped a gorgeous finish into the bottom-right corner.

There was then little by way of goalmouth action until Reus seized on a loose pass on 28 minutes and again fed Haaland to this time go alone, powering beyond Dayot Upamecano and contorting his body to shoot left-footed past Peter Gulacsi.

And an astonishing first half for Reus and Dortmund was complete when he raced clear on the stroke of half-time and squared for Sancho to calmly score again, the goal awarded after a VAR review overturned an incorrect offside call.

The second period was similarly frantic, albeit now with chances at either end. Christopher Nkunku hit the crossbar 19 seconds after his half-time introduction, while fellow substitute Thorgan Hazard toed agonisingly wide from another Reus pass.

Moments after Leipzig struck the woodwork for the second time, with Emil Forsberg somehow stabbing against the post, Olmo rattled in from outside the area.

Sancho should have had a memorable hat-trick but dallied after rounding Gulacsi and allowed the goalkeeper to recover. He picked out Haaland instead the next time Dortmund broke and a fortuitous finish wrongfooted Gulacsi for number four.

Dayot Upamecano has claimed he turned down an opportunity to join Manchester United as a teenager because Ralf Rangnick presented such a persuasive alternative.

The defender, who will leave RB Leipzig to join Bayern Munich at the end of this season, was targeted by United as a teenage prospect when he was with French club Valenciennes.

He elected to turn down United and move to Austrian club Salzburg, Upamecano says, after being wowed by Rangnick's precise vision for his career.

At the time, Rangnick was sporting director for Salzburg and Leipzig, with both clubs part of the Red Bull empire, and talking Upamecano into a move proved one of many successes he achieved in that role.

United had tempted the youngster, however, and Upamecano told The Athletic: "I was a young boy. I wanted to sign for them straight away. Manchester United! But then my parents took me aside and said: 'Let's think carefully about this'.

"We thought about it for a long time and then decided that going 'etape par etape' [step by step] was the best option for me. Everything Ralf said came true."

Upamecano was loaned out to Liefering before returning to make an impact with Salzburg while still in his teens, and at the age of 18, in January 2017, he was moved through the ranks to join Leipzig.

Rangnick, who had already enjoyed one spell as head coach of Leipzig, returned for another in 2018, and Upamecano said: "Ralf was the most important coach for me. He's a professor, a scientist of football, and he also cares about everything. He's always there for you with advice on matters football and non-football, every single day."

Before joining Bayern, Upamecano has the chance on Thursday to land a DFB-Pokal title with Leipzig as they head into the final in Berlin against Borussia Dortmund.

Julian Nagelsmann, who succeeded Rangnick in 2019, has been another major influence on the career of Upamecano, who describes the 33-year-old as "an unbelievable manager".

Like Upamecano, Nagelsmann will also move to Bayern at the season's end.

"He really takes you to another level," Upamecano said. "For example, because of Julian, I have improved a lot in terms of opening the game from the defence with precise passes into the midfield, and he told me to use my dribbling abilities in order to create spaces going forward."

That is borne out by data that shows Upamecano has progressed significantly while at Leipzig.

Following his mid-season arrival in 2017, Upamecano had an overall passing accuracy of 78.6 per cent in the Bundesliga, while his accuracy with passes ending in the final third of the field was just 46.2 per cent.

These numbers belong firmly in Upamecano's past, because his precision now shows a marked improvement.

In 2017-18, he stepped up those percentages to 83.7 and 55 in the Bundesliga, while attempting 130 passes into the final third of the pitch.

But in 2019-20, his overall accuracy stood at 89.1 per cent and his accuracy into the final third was a healthy 74 per cent, with Upamecano attempting 232 balls into that attacking area in league games. Each figure put him in the top 10 for Bundesliga defenders who played at least 20 games.

This season has seen a minor step back, but an 88.5 per cent total accuracy and 70 per cent accuracy into the final third continues to reflect well on the French defender, a player United must sorely regret failing to recruit.

Borussia Dortmund are increasingly confident star striker Erling Haaland will be able to play in the DFB-Pokal final on Thursday.

RB Leipzig will be Dortmund's opponents in Berlin as BVB seek a fifth success in Germany's cup competition.

Haaland was forced to miss the emphatic 5-0 DFB-Pokal semi-final win over Holstein Kiel as well as Saturday's dramatic 3-2 Bundesliga triumph over final opponents Leipzig, which secured the title for Bayern Munich.

The Norway international has been out with a thigh injury but, in a major boost, sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed the recent optimism around Haaland's involvement in the cup final is well placed.

Haaland has scored 37 goals in 38 appearances for Dortmund in a remarkable campaign that has led to him being linked with a transfer to almost all major European clubs.

He has netted 25 of those in the Bundesliga, with his 23 non-penalty strikes in that competition impressively outperforming an xG rate of 19.8.

 

"It looks good with Erling," Zorc said to SID on Tuesday when asked about Haaland's status for the final.

"He himself is very confident and so are we – we hope he can play."

It has been reported Haaland was able to complete some light fitness work and warm-up exercises at the training ground on Monday.

Leipzig, meanwhile, are yet to win the competition, having lost to Bayern in the 2019 final.

When he announced his upcoming departure to join Bayern, head coach Julian Nagelsmann pointed to the DFB-Pokal as a key target in his bid to leave the club on a high.

They promptly defeated Werder Bremen 2-1 in the last four and are also on track to finish second in the Bundesliga.

Manchester United wanted Jadon Sancho ahead of the 2020-21 season.

But, United were unable to prise Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

United, though, are reportedly still pursuing the England international.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT SANCHO

Manchester United are lining up a bid for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

United were heavily linked with Sancho at the start of the season but a move did not materialise, while the Red Devils have since been mentioned as suitors for fellow Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

But United have reportedly cooled their interest in Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich target Haaland as they make Sancho their top transfer priority.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS claims Juventus have rejected a renewed effort from Barca to sign Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

- Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, City defender Nathan Ake and RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer are on Jose Mourinho's list of targets as he prepares to take charge of Roma, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Corriere dello Sport also claims Lille midfielder Renato Sanches is wanted by Mourinho.

- Mundo Deportivo says Barca are continuing to chase Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravernberch. Barca have also been linked with Liverpool's soon-to-be free agent Georginio Wijnaldum, who has since emerged as a reported target for Bayern.

Chelsea are frontrunners to prise Harry Kane from Tottenham according to Football Insider. Kane has been linked with United, City, Barca, Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid, while Chelsea have also emerged as a possible destination for Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski.

Borussia Dortmund breezed into the DFB-Pokal final despite the absence of Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna scoring twice in a 5-0 thrashing of Holstein Kiel.

Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard and Jude Bellingham were also on target in a first-half rout, Dortmund dismantling their second-tier opponents to set up a showdown with RB Leipzig on May 13.

Kiel had sensationally ended Bayern Munich's reign in the competition when knocking out the holders on penalties in the second round. They also came out on top in a dramatic shoot-out against Darmstadt in the last 16, while they progressed to the semi-finals thanks to a 3-0 triumph away at Rot-Weiss Essen.

However, any hopes of another upset had long disappeared by half-time at Signal Iduna Park as the injured Haaland – ruled out with a muscle issue – watched on from the stands.

Reyna scored the first two. His opener was teed up by Jadon Sancho before he added another from close range, tapping in after Reus' attempted cross had been back-heeled into the path of the United States international by Raphael Guerreiro.

Reus was next to score, poking the ball past goalkeeper Thomas Dahne after Emre Can's lofted pass had picked out his team-mate's run beyond Kiel's overworked defence.

Hazard capitalised on a loose pass to make it four goals in a crazy 16-minute spell, while a long-range shot from Bellingham found the net thanks to a sizeable deflection off Simon Lorenz that left poor Dahne with no chance.

The onslaught allowed Dortmund coach Edin Terzic to make a slew of changes with one eye on a pivotal Bundesliga run-in, while poor Kiel were happy to avoid any further punishment in a second half that had a testimonial feel to it.


What does it mean? Silver lining still a possibility

Securing a top-four Bundesliga finish is the priority for Dortmund, but an up-and-down season that has included the departure of head coach Lucien Favre could yet see silverware secured. They have not won the cup since 2017 when current Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was in charge.

While Leipzig had to work hard to seal progression on Friday, beating Werder Bremen with a dramatic winner at the end of extra time, their opponents for the Berlin final were able to coast through.

Just kidding around

While Haaland's future may be unclear beyond the current campaign, Dortmund have two more outstanding prospects coming through to take centre stage when, rather than if, the Norwegian departs.

Reyna scored with two of his 23 touches before being replaced at the break, yet Bellingham played the full game in midfield, completing 97 per cent of his attempted passes.

Visitors Kiel over

This was a harsh way for a superb run to end, with Kiel seeing fortune desert them as BVB benefited from several lucky breaks to run up the score.

Fabian Reese had every reason to feel frustrated after his wonderful long-range strike beat Marwin Hitz but was kept out by the post, albeit a comeback would still have been unlikely with the hosts already 3-0 up.

What's next?

There will be a final rehearsal next Saturday when Dortmund host Leipzig, though Bundesliga points – not prizes – will be on offer. Kiel, meanwhile, host SV Sandhausen in league action on Tuesday as they continue their quest for promotion to the top tier.

Julian Nagelsmann says he wants to "say goodbye with the title" after RB Leipzig secured a spot in the German DFB-Pokal final following a 2-1 extra-time win over Werder Bremen in Friday's semi-final.

Nagelsmann confirmed during the week that he would be joining Bayern Munich next season, ending his two-year tenure at Leipzig.

Leipzig were Champions League semi-finalists last season and finished Nagelsmann's debut season in third in the Bundesliga but he has not won any silverware for the club.

The Red Bulls appear destined to finish runners-up in this season's Bundesliga campaign but Nagelsmann is eyeing off a winning farewell in the DFB-Pokal.

"I would like to say goodbye with the title," Nagelsmann said. "We hope that we play a good cup final.

"When you see how the guys work so hard after such a turbulent week, of course it's great."

Emil Forsberg struck a late winner at the end of extra time after a scoreless 90 minutes to send Leipzig into the final against either Borussia Dortmund or Holstein Kiel.

Hwang Hee-chan had opened the scoring for Leipzig before Leonardo Bittencourt swooped on an error to equalise.

"At the end of the day, the close matches are the best wins," Nagelsmann said.

"It was very emotional and that releases more energy. The boys fought and gave everything.

"The turbulent week had no effect, everyone on the pitch saw that today. The boys had their hearts in the right place and deservedly won."

Emil Forsberg struck a late winner at the end of extra time as RB Leipzig overcame determined Werder Bremen 2-1 to reach the DFB-Pokal final in dramatic fashion.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, Leipzig took the lead with a goal from Hwang Hee-chan early in the first extra period, only for a Dayot Upamecano error to gift Leonardo Bittencourt the chance to equalise.

A penalty shoot-out appeared to be on the cards until Forsberg popped up in added time, Hwang heading the ball back across the face of goal for his fellow substitute to convert from close range.

The win means Julian Nagelsmann remains on course to deliver a first major trophy for Leipzig before his departure, the Bayern Munich-bound coach set to lead his current employers against either Borussia Dortmund or Holstein Kiel in the showpiece fixture in Berlin on May 13.

 

 

Julian Nagelsmann has given his approval to RB Leipzig's choice of Jesse Marsch as his successor and future Bundesliga rival.

American coach Marsch will arrive from Salzburg, close affiliates of the German side, at the end of the season to take over from Bayern Munich-bound Nagelsmann.

The 47-year-old has spent two years as Salzburg boss and previously worked as an assistant coach with Leipzig so knows the club well.

Marsch was also head coach of New York Red Bulls from 2015 to 2018, and Nagelsmann sees him as an easy fit at Leipzig.

"I'm very happy that RB Leipzig have been able to quickly find a successor in Jesse Marsch," Nagelsmann said. "It was important to me that the club find a good coach and that they wouldn't have to deal with too much uncertainty following the news of my departure.

"Jesse Marsch is a very emotional coach and has a good connection to his players. I will definitely look to speak with him at the end of the season. I wish him all the best here and that he continues the club's success."

Nagelsmann will perhaps be mindful of being too helpful as the coaches cross and he leaves for Bayern as Marsch arrives at Leipzig, given they have been Germany's top two sides this season.

Bayern look like scooping the Bundesliga title for a ninth consecutive year. With 71 points from 31 games, they head Leipzig by seven points with three rounds of games remaining.

However, Leipzig are very much in the hunt for cup glory as they head into Friday's DFB-Pokal semi-final against Werder Bremen.

The winner of that tie will face either Borussia Dortmund or Holstein Kiel, the second-tier team that knocked out Bayern in the early stages of the tournament.

"Of course, it would be nice to end my time here by winning the DFB-Pokal," Nagelsmann said on Thursday.

"The pressure is there, but that's normal. If you've reached the semi-finals with your team, then it's obvious that you want to advance to the final and win there."

Quoted on Leipzig's official website, Nagelsmann said: "There's nothing worse than losing a final. If we have the chance to win the trophy, then we'll do everything possible to make that happen.

"We don't need any extra motivation for Friday night. The cup is motivation enough. The team will give it everything they have to meet the expectations. They are highly motivated.

"I still have a good relationship with the team and spoke to the lads. All the outside noise won't affect them. All of my players want to continue improving.

"Our goal is to make it to [the final in] Berlin. We also want to break the 67-point mark in the Bundesliga, in order to set a new [club] record this season."

Jesse Marsch will take over as head coach of RB Leipzig when Julian Nagelsmann heads to Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The switch sees Marsch leave Salzburg, affiliates of Leipzig, to rejoin the club he previously served as an assistant coach.

Leipzig said Marsch had agreed a two-year contract and would assume his new role on July 1.

Marsch has been a head coach before, most notably leading New York Red Bulls from 2015 to 2018, and the American should prove an easy fit with the German Bundesliga side.

Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said: "In Jesse Marsch, we have been able to recruit our main head coach and quickly fill the most important position in the sporting side of the club with a top coach.

"Jesse has been part of the Red Bull football group for over six years now and has done incredible work in all his roles so far, constantly developing step by step.

"It's of course a great advantage that he already worked for a year at RB Leipzig. Jesse knows the club, the city of Leipzig and, above all, the club and playing philosophy.

"Alongside his qualities as a coach, Jesse is characterised above all by his positively ambitious style, which he uses to motivate and engage the people and around the club.

"We're looking forward to working with Jesse Marsch and to continuing our successful path with him."

Julian Nagelsmann says he is leaving RB Leipzig for "a unique opportunity" at Bayern Munich with "a heavy heart" but vows he will give everything to finish on a high.

Leipzig head coach Nagelsmann is to become the new Bayern boss and has agreed a five-year contract beginning on July 1, both clubs confirmed on Tuesday.

Bayern, who are on the verge of a ninth successive Bundesliga title, have agreed to terminate the contract of Hansi Flick, who informed the club he did not want to stay in charge beyond this season.

Nagelsmann has Leipzig on the brink of sealing second place in the Bundesliga, which would be their best finish.

There also remains a chance he will guide the club to their first major silverware with Bayern already out of the DFB-Pokal ahead of Leipzig's semi-final against Werder Bremen on Friday.

The 33-year-old finished third in the top flight and reached the Champions League semi-finals with Leipzig last season – his first after joining from Hoffenheim - but revealed the Bayern job was too difficult to turn down.

"I will leave RB Leipzig with a heavy heart," Nagelsmann told Leipzig's website.

"I’ve been able to coach a special team here at a club with huge opportunities and the best possible conditions to work in.

"Our run to the Champions League semi-finals was definitely the highlight of our time together. It was a moment that I'll never forget.

"We're currently enjoying the best Bundesliga campaign in the club's history too. We want to make sure it ends up our best finish and then also lift a major trophy for the first time as well.

"It's too early to say my goodbyes and speak about my memories because I'm not done here yet in Leipzig.

"My mission may end here in the summer, but I will give my absolute all until then. We've grown into a real tight-knit bunch that finally wants to win a title.

"Leipzig are a special club – nevertheless, I am leaving. I made no secret of the fact that the head coach position at FC Bayern appealed to me and that I would like to take on this job if the opportunity ever arose.

"The position at FC Bayern is a unique opportunity for me. I would therefore like to thank Oliver Mintzlaff and the rest of the board at RB Leipzig for finding a solution with FC Bayern and making this possible for me.

"Now we're shifting our full attention to the remaining three Bundesliga games and of course the DFB-Pokal semi-final, to try and finish the season as successfully as possible."

Talk emerged on Monday that Bayern and Nagelsmann had quickly agreed terms but that a fee to release him from his RB Leipzig contract was proving a sticking point.

According to widespread reports, an agreement has been reached between the clubs that would make Nagelsmann the world's most expensive head coach.

The Athletic indicated Bayern will pay around €20million, while further reports suggest add-ons could take the total closer to €25m.

Nagelsmann, 33, had also been linked with Tottenham after their decision to sack Jose Mourinho last week.

However, as a boyhood Bayern fan from the Bavarian town of Landsberg am Lech, the Allianz Arena has long been touted as his dream destination.

When Nagelsmann does finish at Leipzig, he will do so with a sense of pride.

He added: "Since my first game in August 2019 against VfL Osnabruck, RB Leipzig, the whole region and all the staff and players here have meant so much to me.

"We've experienced so many special things during our eventful time together.

"Everybody here, including the staff who work alongside the team, have ensured that we've written plenty of stories for the club's history books and are continuing to do so now. I'm really proud of that."

Julian Nagelsmann can keep the trophies coming for Bayern Munich, with Oliver Kahn forecasting a "very successful" future under the leadership of the incoming coach.

The 33-year-old Nagelsmann will leave RB Leipzig at the end of the season after agreeing a five-year contract with Bayern.

A world-record fee for a coach was reportedly agreed to secure the man who will take over from Hansi Flick, with Bayern expected to hand over at least €20million.

They may recoup some of that if Flick, who asked to be released from his contract, is appointed head coach of Germany.

By hiring such a young coach, Bayern are making a major statement about their intentions, seeing Nagelsmann as a long-term prospect.

Kahn, who will step up from his role on the board to become Bayern CEO at the end of the year, said: "Julian's contract length of five years alone shows how committed he is to FC Bayern.

"I am convinced that FC Bayern's sporting future will be a very successful one with Julian Nagelsmann."

Goalkeeping great Kahn believes the team are in safe hands with the incoming boss, but he also praised Flick for his contribution.

Since taking over from the sacked Niko Kovac in November 2019, Flick has steered Bayern to six trophies, including a treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League last season.

A seventh trophy of Flick's brief reign should arrive in May, with Bayern on the brink of a ninth successive Bundesliga title.

"My thanks go to Hansi Flick," Kahn said. "He's led FC Bayern to great successes with great football. We have now fulfilled his wish to leave FC Bayern before the end of his contract. All the best, Hansi!"

Reports suggested Flick and Hasan Salihamidzic have been at odds over team matters, including player recruitment.

With Flick no longer needing to concern himself with such matters, they may be able to part on peaceful terms.

"I want to express my thanks to Hansi Flick," said Salihamidzic.

"After taking on the role of head coach nearly one and a half years ago, we have celebrated many victories and titles, with the treble in 2020 being the high point. His name will always be associated with these successes. I wish him all the best for the road ahead."

Clearly, Salihamidzic is looking forward to working with Nagelsmann, having been impressed by the discussions with the coach that have led to this point.

In 90 games with Leipzig, Nagelsmann has earned 53 wins and 21 draws and suffered 16 defeats - achieving a healthy win percentage of 58.9 per cent.

"The talks with Julian have been very cooperative and constructive," Salihamidzic said. "We are going to have a lot of joy with him – of that I am sure."

Julian Nagelsmann told RB Leipzig the Bayern Munich job was his lifelong dream before they agreed to his exit, club CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has revealed.

Mintzlaff revealed the decision to sanction Nagelsmann's departure took place after open and honest talks with the highly rated 33-year-old, who is nearing the end of his second season with Leipzig.

Leipzig head coach Nagelsmann is to become the new Bayern boss and has agreed a five-year contract beginning on July 1, both clubs confirmed on Tuesday.

Nagelsmann said he is leaving RB Leipzig for "a unique opportunity" at Bayern with "a heavy heart" but vowed he would give everything to finish on a high.

Discussing the announcement, Mintzlaff said: "There has been a lot of activity over the past few days regarding the role as head coach of FC Bayern Munich.

"Following this, Julian Nagelsmann approached us and expressed in open talks that it is a lifelong dream of his to become coach of FC Bayern, and that he would like to make the move to Munich if the opportunity presented itself after the end of this season.

"Julian has taken a fantastic path in Leipzig and developed the club very successfully.

"He has not only improved individual players but has also taken the team as a collective to the next level.

"We signed a long-term contract that did not originally include an exit scenario.

"However, Julian's strong desire to coach FC Bayern has led us to the decision that the door is open after intensive talks, provided certain prerequisites are met."

Following reports on Monday that Bayern and Nagelsmann had quickly agreed terms, a fee to release him from his RB Leipzig contract was said to be proving a sticking point.

An agreement has been now reached between the clubs that will reportedly make Nagelsmann the world's most expensive head coach.

The Athletic indicated Bayern will pay around €20million, while further reports suggest add-ons could take the total closer to €25m.

Mintzlaff confirmed the club had met their financial target during talks with Bayern.

He added: "In the negotiations with FC Bayern representatives, we have been successful in obtaining our financial goals.

"Now we have to tackle the remaining games of this season with Julian and his team so that we can make this the most successful campaign in our club's history." 

Bayern, who are on the verge of a ninth successive Bundesliga title, have agreed to terminate the contract of Hansi Flick, who informed the club he did not want to stay in charge beyond this season.

Nagelsmann has Leipzig on the brink of sealing second place in the Bundesliga, which would be their best finish.

There also remains a chance he will guide the club to their first major silverware, with Bayern already out of the DFB-Pokal ahead of Leipzig's semi-final against Werder Bremen on Friday.

The 33-year-old finished third in the top flight and reached the Champions League semi-finals with Leipzig last season – his first after joining from Hoffenheim.

But he revealed his new job was too difficult to turn down. As a boyhood Bayern fan from the Bavarian town of Landsberg am Lech, the Allianz Arena has long been touted as his dream destination.

Leipzig added that a statement regarding the successor to Nagelsmann would be made "soon".

Julian Nagelsmann is to become the new Bayern Munich head coach and has agreed a five-year contract beginning on July 1, the Bundesliga club announced on Tuesday.

Bayern, who are on the verge of a ninth successive Bundesliga title, have agreed to terminate the contract of Hansi Flick, who informed the club he did not want to stay in charge beyond this season.

"Julian Nagelsmann represents a new generation of coaches," Bayern president Herbert Hainer said in a statement.

"Despite his young age, he has had an impressive career. We are convinced that, with Julian Nagelsmann, we will build on the great successes of the past few years."

Talk emerged on Monday that Bayern and Nagelsmann had quickly agreed terms but that a fee to release him from his RB Leipzig contract was proving a sticking point.

According to widespread reports in Germany and Europe, an agreement has been reached between the clubs that would make Nagelsmann the world's most expensive head coach.

The Athletic indicated Bayern will pay around €20million, while further reports suggest add-ons could take the total closer to €25m.

Nagelsmann, 33, had also been linked with Tottenham after their decision to sack Jose Mourinho last week.

However, as a boyhood Bayern fan from the Bavarian town of Landsberg am Lech, the Allianz Arena has long been touted as his dream destination.

Nagelsmann, who cost Leipzig a reported €5m when he joined from Hoffenheim in 2019, has helped to establish the club as Champions League regulars and Bundesliga title challengers.

He guided them to the Champions League semi-finals last season, where they lost 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain, and a third-place finish in the top flight.

Leipzig are comfortably second in 2020-21 but trail leaders Bayern by seven points with only three games remaining.

Flick, who has been tipped to succeed Joachim Low as head coach of Germany, leaves Bayern after delivering six trophies in under two years, including the treble last season.

Hainer said: "I would like to expressly thank Hansi Flick on behalf of FC Bayern. He took over our team in a difficult phase in 2019 and then won six titles, with the seventh hopefully following soon.

"He will always have a place in the history books of FC Bayern."

Flick said: "The past two years have been unforgettable for me.

"A coach is nothing without his team and I was lucky enough to meet fantastic players and staff here in Munich, and a team of coaches who did incredible things.

"One disappointment remains: that we weren't able to celebrate the greatest successes during this time with the fans. I've missed them in every game.

"I wish the Bayern family the very best for the future. It's not an empty phrase when I say it was a very great honour for me."

Julian Nagelsmann is to become the new Bayern Munich head coach and has agreed a five-year contract beginning on July 1, the Bundesliga club announced on Tuesday.

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