Bayern Munich will travel to Schalke in the quarter-finals of this season's DFB-Pokal.

The holders will head to Gelsenkirchen after they edged out Hoffenheim 4-3 in the previous round.

Eintracht Frankfurt – who beat Bayern in the 2018 final – will host Werder Bremen, while Bayer Leverkusen will meet Union Berlin at BayArena.

Fortuna Dusseldorf, who were 5-2 winners at Cologne in round three, were handed an away match against fourth-tier Saarbrucken.

The games will be played on March 3 and 4.

RB Leipzig recruit Dani Olmo scored his first goal for the Bundesliga club as they crashed out of the DFB-Pokal.

Olmo was linked to Bayern Munich and Barcelona prior to joining Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb for a reported initial fee of €20million last month.

Making his second appearance, Spain international Olmo opened his account in Tuesday's 3-1 third-round defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt.

A half-time substitute, Olmo made it 2-1 with his 68th-minute goal at Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt.

It was Leipzig's second loss to Eintracht in less than two weeks, having suffered a 2-0 Bundesliga defeat on January 25.

"We are of course very disappointed with the result. We now have to learn from our mistakes and continue to work hard," Olmo said via Leipzig's official website.

"We're still in two races and want to do better in the next few weeks."

Leipzig remain firmly in the Bundesliga race, with Julian Nagelsmann's side second and a point behind defending champions Bayern after 20 matches.

A Champions League last-16 tie against Jose Mourinho's Tottenham also awaits Leipzig.

"We should have taken the lead early, but we don't score," said head coach Nagelsmann. "After the unfortunate deficit, it is very difficult to come back into play here in Frankfurt. At the moment we are not doing things the way we train them."

Barcelona signed Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao on transfer deadline day, but both players must wait for their chance to shine at Camp Nou.

Fernandes will join Quique Setien's squad from Palmeiras in July after a €10million package was agreed for the 21-year-old, who has played for the Brazil Under-20 team.

Braga accepted a €31m offer from Barca for 20-year-old forward Trincao, and he will also formally join the Catalan club's ranks at the end of the season.

Both players have agreed five-year contracts, the Blaugrana announced, with Fernandes' contract including a €300m buy-out clause and Trincao's deal showing a €500m clause.

Braga will take Barca's 18-year-old striker Abel Ruiz on loan until the end of the season and then make the deal permanent for €8m, with the LaLiga club having a buy-back option.

Barca were not the only Spanish club busy in the market though, with Celta Vigo signing striker Fyodor Smolov on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow until the end of the season.

Atletico Madrid re-signed Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco, almost two years after he left to join Chinese side Dalian Yifang. The 26-year-old joined until the end of the season on loan.
 

STAYING PUT

Deadline day was as notable for the deals that looked to have fallen through as those that were completed.

Paris Saint-Germain ruled out allowing Edinson Cavani to leave, as a host of clubs fancied taking the Uruguayan off their hands, while Chelsea refused to let France striker Olivier Giroud depart Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham were among the clubs keen on Giroud, but Jose Mourinho looked like missing out on the striker he wanted to strengthen a front-line depleted by the loss of injured England captain Harry Kane.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United remained linked with Bournemouth forward Joshua King, but time was running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add new faces to his Old Trafford squad.

United made one signing, but it was a low-profile deal as England Under-20 goalkeeper Nathan Bishop arrived from third-tier Southend United.

Arsenal brought in defender Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, champions Celtic shipped out Scotland international Lewis Morgan to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, who are part-owned by David Beckham.

Belgian side Genk allowed attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian great Gheorghe Hagi, to join Scottish giants Rangers on loan.
 

KOUAME, DUNCAN IN

Serie A transfer activity was dominated by Fiorentina, who signed Ivorian forward Christian Kouame from Genoa, initially on loan. The deal will be made permanent at the end of the season.

They also brought in Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Duncan from Sassuolo in a similar deal, a loan with an obligation to buy.

Reports in Italy said Kevin-Prince Boateng was set to leave Fiorentina among the incomings, with Besiktas his destination. Turkish giants Besiktas also snapped up 18-year-old Croatian midfielder Ajdin Hasic from Dinamo Zagreb on permanent terms.

Atalanta agreed a loan deal with Nice, acquiring defender Adrien Tameze from the Ligue 1 outfit with a purchase option.

World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi cut short a season-long loan from Roma to Galatasaray, returning to his French homeland with Rennes on a six-month loan with an option for a further year.
 

HERTHA BUSY

In the Bundesliga, Emre Can left Juventus for Borussia Dortmund on Friday evening, initially on loan until the end of the campaign but with a €25m fee agreed for a potential permanent transfer.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin followed up Thursday's signing of Krzysztof Piatek by prising 20-year-old Brazilian winger Matheus Cunha from table-toppers RB Leipzig, for whom he scored nine goals in 52 games.

Hertha managing director Michael Preetz said on the club's website: "We wanted to increase the quantity and improve the quality up front, which we have been able to do with the Piatek and Cunha transfers."

Leipzig also offloaded Austrian midfielder Stefan Ilsanker to Eintracht Frankfurt. He spent four-and-a-half years at Leipzig, joining them in the second tier.

Werder Bremen signed striker Davie Selke on an 18-month loan from Hertha, the 25-year-old returning to the club where he began his professional career.

Erling Haaland's decision to join Borussia Dortmund brought an end to one of Europe's most fascinating transfer stories.

Manchester United had been in the frame for his signature but were reportedly put off by a key demand from the striker's representatives.

As often seems to be the case for the Red Devils, Mino Raiola's involvement led to complications.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED PULLED PLUG ON HAALAND BID

According to The Guardian, United abandoned their bid for the highly sought-after Haaland after learning of a request from his agent, Raiola, and father Alf-Inge Haaland.

The pair reportedly asked for a share of any future transfer fee for the 19-year-old, a stipulation the Old Trafford outfit were unwilling to meet despite their firm interest.

Haaland settled on Dortmund after the Bundesliga side activated his Salzburg buyout clause.

He had been linked to RB Leipzig, Juventus and several more top European clubs after emerging as a Champions League star.

 

ROUND-UP

- Haaland's arrival at Dortmund could lead LaLiga side  Atletico Madrid to narrow the transfer focus on Spanish striker Paco Alcacer, according to Marca. The former Barcelona player has struggled to cement a place in BVB's starting XI and represents a cheaper option in terms of wages than Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, an apparent favourite of Diego Simeone.

- AS, meanwhile, reports on potential movements elsewhere in the Spanish capital. The newspaper claims Real Madrid are preparing to recall Jesus Vallejo from his loan spell at Wolves, with a view to finding him more playing time. That could lead to a short-term switch to Leganes or Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Juventus are close to extending Wojciech Szczesny's contract yet the Serie A champions remain admirers of Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tammy Abraham wants a better deal at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea are not yet prepared to accept his demand for parity with Callum Hudson-Odoi's £180,000 per week salary, reports The Athletic.

- Manchester City are set to beat Premier League rivals United, Arsenal and Liverpool to the January signing of Barcelona's teenage left-back Juan Larios, says the Daily Star.

The full draw for the Europa League's round of 32 is: 

Wolves v Espanyol

Sporting CP v Istanbul Basaksehir

Getafe v Ajax

Bayer Leverkusen v Porto

Copenhagen v Celtic

APOEL v Basel

Cluj v Sevilla

Olympiacos v Arsenal

AZ v LASK Linz

Club Brugge v Manchester United

Ludogorets v Inter

Eintracht Frankfurt v Salzburg

Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica

Wolfsburg v Malmo

Roma v Gent

Rangers v Braga

The first legs will take place on Thursday 20 February, with the return fixtures scheduled for a week later.

Club chiefs will return to Nyon for the last-16 draw on February 28.

David Wagner insists Alexander Nubel did not intend to do harm to Mijat Gacinovic with his horror challenge in Schalke's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Schalke goalkeeper was shown a 66th-minute red card for a wild lunge with his foot that caught his opponent high on the chest.

Head coach Wagner accepted referee Felix Zwayer had little option other than to give Nubel his marching orders but defended his captain.

"Alexander Nubel wasn't trying to catch Mijat Gacinovic when he was sent off, but just arrived too late," Wagner said in quotes reported by Schalke's official website. 

"It obviously looks really bad. The referee's decision was definitely correct. Markus Schubert was great after coming on, as was Juan Miranda."

Gacinovic later posted on Instagram to show the result of the challenge, with stud marks visible across the midfielder's chest.

Schalke's win, which was sealed by Benito Raman's effort in the 53rd minute, leaves them fourth in the table and five points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig.

Unai Emery refused to discuss his future after Arsenal's 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt piled further pressure on the head coach.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners in front in first-half stoppage time as Granit Xhaka played for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy.

But a promising showing unravelled spectacularly after the interval as Daichi Kamada netted a fine brace and the hosts disintegrated.

"I am thinking about the next match and how we can improve and achieve confidence with the players," Emery told reporters afterwards, looking ahead to Sunday's trip to Norwich City and his side's latest opportunity to end a winless run that now stands at seven matches.

"They know we are a little down in our feelings, but if we continue with our first-half performance, that is the way.

"My work and my job is firstly analysing that match, how we are in the Europa League, in our feelings and how we are going to play on Sunday.

"In the first half we were happy with the performance as a team and individually. We started the second half the same but lost control of the game in 15 minutes and they scored twice.

"At the end we changed two players because of injuries and we couldn't make more offensive changes to bring on fresh players. We didn't take chances to draw or win the match."

David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi were forced off, while Xhaka appeared to be playing through the pain of a knee injury.

Nevertheless, forwards Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette looking on as unused substitutes raised questions of Emery's game management after opposite number Adi Hutter introduced Mijat Gacinovic and Dominik Kohr at half-time to change the complexion of the contest.

"We needed to achieve confidence here [at Emirates Stadium] and play well and we improved. We improved some things to take three points, but in 15 minutes we lost all the work of the first half," Emery said.

"I spoke with the players to be consistent and be positive but really, we need to win.

"To recover confidence, we need to win and feel better here with our supporters in the Emirates. Maybe we deserved more, but it is the first match we lost here [this season]."

Xhaka was applauded, after receiving treatment, by a fanbase that barracked him on his previous appearance against Crystal Palace.

In the context, it amounted to a rare positive for the embattled Emery.

"It's very good news with Granit," Emery added. "The supporters helped him and I think it's good news."

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Unai Emery should consider standing down as head coach after "an absolute shambles of a performance" in the 2-1 Europa League loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Daichi Kamada's fine second-half brace overturned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener and stretched the Gunners' winless streak to seven matches in all competitions.

A sparsely populated Emirates Stadium, where the officially announced figure of 49,419 tickets sold was hardly represented by the attendance, booed Emery and his players at full time.

Keown, who played in the decorated Arsenal sides managed by George Graham and Arsene Wenger, feels the ex-Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss has run out of road – as evidenced by their "relegation form".

"I think he may well have taken the team as far as he can," Keown told BT Sport in his role as a pundit.

"We just witnessed an absolute shambles of a performance in the second half. The team selection, the team motivation, the substitutes, the performance. Everything was missing here. It was a dreadful performance.

"Is he able to motivate this team? He seems to have lost the players. The desire seems to have ebbed away."

Injuries to defenders David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi further compromised Emery, while Granit Xhaka – back in the side for the first time since being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy – completed 90 minutes despite appearing hindered by a knee problem suffered before half-time.

Forwards Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette looked on as unused substitutes while their team-mates unravelled.

"I could question players," Keown said. "Xhaka stayed on the pitch, perhaps should have gone off; Mustafi couldn't get off quick enough.

"The substitutions that he made, the players that are sitting on the bench. You've got Pepe there, you've got Lacazette – you're trying to get back into the game.

"It's not enough. The manager might be in a position where he might even feel he has to step to one side.

"Serious questions really need to be asked. It's as bad as I've seen it. I know change was needed, Wenger was at the football club just a little bit too long.

"Now it looks as if the club has gone in a different direction. We're going only one way at the moment. This is relegation form.

"Do the club really realise how trying this is now going to be? Football people at the top of the club, make the decisions that need to be made. Otherwise Arsenal are going to plunge even further down the table."

Keown added: "It's a sad day. We don't say these things lightly because we still love the club. The club will never be taken away from former players.

"You have your view. They do their talking with their management and what they do on the pitch, we do that as pundits.

"I feel it's very sad. There were hardly any fans there tonight. They're voting with their feet. They knew what was coming there.

"Where's the desire, where's the identity of the football club. It was there under Wenger and it's ebbed away far too quickly. We've got to get it back."

Daichi Kamada's second-half brace secured a 2-1 Europa League win for Eintracht Frankfurt and piled further pressure on Arsenal head coach Unai Emery.

The Gunners are now without a win for seven matches across all competitions, with two rasping strikes from Japan forward Kamada adding to the impression Emery was on borrowed time at a sparsely populated Emirates Stadium.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal a deserved lead at the end of a first half they dominated, with Granit Xhaka slotting back into the midfield for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy.

But the brittle nature of their collapse spoke of a club in turmoil and a positive result at Standard Liege in a fortnight's time may be needed to be absolutely sure of progress to the knockout stages.

Who might be in their dugout at that stage feels less clear.

Arsenal were on top early on. Bukayo Saka raided down the Frankfurt right in the 11th minute but Joe Willock and Aubameyang appeared to get in each other's way and the latter headed wide.

Gabriel Martinelli passed up chances to add to his haul of three Europa League goals this season when he shot too close to Eintracht goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow from a Xhaka corner and saw Gelson Fernandes clear his header from the subsequent set-piece off the line.

Ronnow dashed out to deny Saka when the winger darted in behind David Abraham, also saving from the teenage winger in the 41st minute.

David Luiz departed with a chest injury in between those two chances and Aubameyang blasted in via Ronnow's leg and the crossbar during the resulting period of stoppage time.

Martinelli played in Willock shortly after half-time but the midfielder misjudged his dinked finish and Ronnow was able to save.

It meant Kamada's spin infield and shot into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 55th minute was against the run of play.

The same could not be said when, after Emiliano Martinez saved sharply from Filip Kostic, Kamada was afforded ample room from similar range to dispatch a partially cleared  64th-minute corner.

To compound matters, Shkodran Mustafi hobbled off and Arsenal never recovered their poise. It remains to be seen whether Emery will be given the chance to recover his own poise.

What does it mean? Emery crisis at breaking point

If Emery could not get Arsenal back on track here, the obvious question was 'when on earth might he do so?'. A Frankfurt side they beat 3-0 in September were on a run of three straight defeats before this rematch and they lie 10th in the Bundesliga. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot, as it happened, as the hosts missed chances to put the game to bed and suffered injuries before collapsing. Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter changed the match with the half-time introduction of Mijat Gacinovic and Dominik Kohr. In the circumstances, Emery's failure to adequately respond feels grimly significant for his own job prospects.

Kamada's double delight

If the space Arsenal afforded Kamada for his first goal was foolish, the room he enjoyed for his second bordered on gross negligence. Nevertheless, both finishes from the 23-year-old forward were of the highest order and the Gunners never recovered from his initial sucker punch.

Willock wastefulness proves costly

Arsenal's promising youngster have generally proved immune to their club's wider disfunction on these midweek occasions, but the richly-gifted Willock found himself sucked in here. He either needed to finish or get out of Aubameyang's way early on and did neither, while his team-mates surely would not have unravelled to such an extent had he made it 2-0 after half-time.

What's next

Arsenal and their embattled boss will try and claim a first win since the start of October when they travel to Norwich City on Sunday, while Frankfurt can recuperate until Monday when Mainz welcome them in the Bundesliga.

Granit Xhaka has been selected for Arsenal's Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt in what will be his first appearance since being stripped of the club captaincy.

Switzerland midfielder Xhaka has not featured in the five matches across all competitions since he reacted angrily to being substituted during last month's 2-2 Premier League draw at home to Crystal Palace.

The Emirates Stadium faithful booed Xhaka on his way off the field and he gestured provocatively in response before removing his shirt in frustration.

The 27-year-old later acknowledged he got "carried away" and reacted "disrespectfully" towards Arsenal's supporters, while under-fire head coach Unai Emery named Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang his new captain.

Arsenal have not won since Xhaka was consigned to the sidelines and Aubameyang also starts against their Bundesliga opponents.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker is supported in attack by Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, who was on target during a 3-0 win in Frankfurt back in September.

Emery's position has been the subject of mounting speculation over recent days, with his cause hardly helped by Nuno Espirito Santo – reportedly a favourite to succeed him in the Arsenal dugout – leading Wolves to a 3-1 lead at half-time at Braga in their own Europa League encounter.

Unai Emery is adamant the Arsenal players still have belief in him and suggested Granit Xhaka will return to the team on Thursday for the first time since clashing with supporters.

The Gunners are without a win in six games in all competitions, with fan frustration hitting new heights in recent weeks.

Emery is reportedly close to being dismissed, with Wolves' Nuno Espirito Santo said to be among those in the running to replace him, though the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla boss insists he is only thinking about Thursday's visit of Frankfurt.

Arsenal head into the match top of Europa League Group F with 10 points and Emery is calling on supporters to back the Gunners and specifically Xhaka, who has not played since a confrontation with fans in the clash with Crystal Palace on October 27.

"They are angry and disappointed, as well we are. We have a very good opportunity to [correct] do that," he told reporters.

"Each match here at the Emirates is very important for that... The players need to feel [fans] backing them.

"Xhaka is in the group and he has the possibility to play. I hope every supporter supports him. Xhaka's comeback is going to be important for us."

It has been reported that Emery's relationship with some of his players has fallen apart, with the Basque coach said to have had a row with Alexandre Lacazette, though he has no doubt the squad is behind him.

When asked if the players still believe in him, Emery said: "Yes, of course, they show that.

"As a coach each moment in my career is difficult. This is a very good, but very hard job. When you are winning you feel the support for everybody.

"I believe in us, I believe in the players. I know I am going to work very hard to come back to the performance.

"I am looking forward to playing. In the good moments, the bad moments, the most important thing for me is to show my work.

"Our confidence depends a lot on how we can feel in our stadium with our supporters. Teams are coming here playing fearless. We need to be strong and together. We need to show our supporters our capacity and skills."

Eintracht Frankfurt captain David Abraham has been given a seven-week ban for "punching" Freiburg coach Christian Streich during Sunday's Bundesliga match, the German Football Federation (DFB) has confirmed.

Abraham sparked a melee during the closing stages of Frankfurt’s 1-0 defeat as he charged towards the touchline to retrieve the ball for a throw-in, only to floor Streich with an outstretched arm.

The 33-year-old defender was sent off and the DFB decreed he merited a harsher punishment for an act that left the 54-year-old Streich splayed on his back.

Abraham's suspension will run until December 29, meaning he will not be back in Bundesliga action until the season resumes in January following a mid-season break.

He has featured throughout Eintracht's Europa League campaign, which resumes away to Arsenal on November 28.

Freiburg midfielder Vincenzo Grifo - who had been substituted during the second half - confronted the Argentine centre-back and was also sent off.

The DFB has banned Grifo for three matches "after he first hit the Frankfurt player David Abraham in the neck and then with his hand in the face".

Both men are permitted to lodge an appeal with the DFB sports court within the next 24 hours.

Eintracht are ninth in the Bundesliga and host Wolfsburg when they return to action after the international break.

Freiburg, meanwhile, are flying high in fourth. They sit level on points with reigning champions Bayern Munich, who are in third place, and have a trip to Bayer Leverkusen next on the agenda.

Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic criticised captain David Abraham for barging over Freiburg head coach Christian Streich in a wild Bundesliga clash.

Abraham was sent off after a shoulder charge on Streich, which sparked a mass brawl in stoppage time of Sunday's 1-0 defeat away to Freiburg.

Trailing to Nils Petersen's 77th-minute goal following Gelson Fernandes' red card prior to half-time, Eintracht star Abraham was dismissed in the 96th minute after knocking over Streich on the touchline.

Freiburg's Vincenzo Grifo – who had earlier been substituted – also saw red as chaos ensued deep into stoppage time at Schwarzwald-Stadion.

"David Abraham shouldn't do something like that," Bobic said. "His emotions got the better of him and he felt like he was being provoked, but something like that shouldn't happen. There will be consequences for all involved."

Freiburg boss Streich said: "I'm not a particularly vindictive person. He has apologised and the matter is done.

"Football is a contact sport. That was on the wrong side of it, though," he continued. "It was a heated game, we need to calm down, it's done, and not have silly talk about it now. At 54 you can be run over by a young buffalo; you can’t hold yourself against it anymore."

Eintracht coach Adi Hutter added: "Congratulations to Freiburg on the win, the club is playing better than ever. The end of the match got a little hectic.

"Emotions are part and parcel of football. This was our sixth match in 18 days and we put in a good performance, both tactically and in terms of the ground we covered.

"We were the ones building from the back and creating the better chances and could have come away with a point, which would have been well deserved. It's a shame to travel back home empty-handed."

Niko Kovac left his role as Bayern Munich coach on good enough terms with the players that any of them would be able to meet up with him for a coffee, according to captain Manuel Neuer.

Kovac had been under pressure for much of the early stages of the 2019-20 season due to underwhelming results and controversy surrounding his sparing use of fan favourite Thomas Muller.

The final straw came in Saturday's 5-1 humiliation at the Croatian's former employers Eintracht Frankfurt, with club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge later revealing "an open and serious conversation" the following day brought the hierarchy to the conclusion a change was needed.

Assistant coach Hansi Flick was placed in temporary charge and he presided over a 2-0 Champions League win at home to Olympiacos on Wednesday.

Despite Kovac's dismissal, Neuer insists none of the players hold any ill will towards the man who guided the club to a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in his only full campaign at the helm.

"I take my hat off to Niko and Robbie [Robert Kovac, former first-team coach and Niko's brother] as they have said goodbye," Neuer told reporters.

"I think that every player, if he meets Robbie or Niko, can look them in the eyes and drink a coffee together.

"It [the farewell] was emotional, of course, because we had a great time together. We wish him all the best. If we had played successfully, this would not have happened."

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been heavily linked with the job after Ralf Rangnick and Erik ten Hag distanced themselves from it.

Niko Kovac has departed Bayern Munich after a 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt left the champions fourth in the Bundesliga table.

Pressure has been growing on Kovac all season despite the Croatian leading Bayern to the Bundesliga title and a DFB-Pokal triumph in his first year in charge.

Saturday's trip to Frankfurt saw Bayern beaten 5-1 by Kovac's old club, who he led to DFB-Pokal glory in 2017-18 before moving to Bavaria.

Bayern failed to keep a clean sheet in any of Kovac's last eight games in all competitions and they needed a late comeback to win at second-tier side Bochum in the DFB-Pokal in midweek.

Despite Kovac leading Bayern to three wins out of three in the Champions League, the Bundesliga champions have now opted for a change of coach.

Former Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter boss Jose Mourinho has been linked with Bayern after the Portuguese revealed he is learning German.

Mauricio Pochettino, whose future at Tottenham has appeared uncertain since their Champions League final loss to Liverpool, has also been linked with Bayern.

Assistant coach Hans Flick will take charge of the first team as they prepare for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Olympiacos and the Klassiker showdown with Borussia Dortmund next Saturday.

"The performance of our team in recent weeks, and the results, have shown us there was need for action," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.

"[President] Uli Hoeness, [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious conversation with Niko on this basis on Sunday, with the consensual result that Niko is no longer the Bayern coach.

"We all regret this development. I'd like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, especially for winning the double last season."

Salihamidzic added: "I now expect a positive development from our players and the highest motivation to achieve our goals this season."

Kovac somewhat surprisingly said he felt his departure was for the best for Bayern.

"I think this is the right decision for the club at the moment," he said.

"The results, and also the way we played in the last game, made me come to that decision.

"My brother Robert and I thank Bayern for the past one and a half years. During this time, our team won the title, the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Supercup. It was a good time.

"I wish the club and the team all the best."

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