MUNICH: Bayern Munich were set to sack manager Julian Nagelsmann, according to German media reports Thursday, with the perennial Bundesliga winners struggling to assert themselves in the title race.
Former Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is the favourite to replace Nagelsmann at Bayern, according to German daily Bild.
The shock sacking would come with the team second in the table, a point behind arch rivals Borussia Dortmund and only four points ahead of surprise challengers Union Berlin.
Bayern´s quest for an 11th Bundesliga title in a row suffered a blow on Sunday as they fell to a 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen.
After the game Bayern´s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic expressed his displeasure at the side´s performance.
"We let ourselves be overrun by a team who played in midweek. That´s not what it means to be Bayern Munich," he said.
Despite their uninspiring league form, Bayern remain in the hunt in the league, as well as the domestic and European cup competitions.
They brushed aside French giants Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16, winning 3-0 across both legs.
The German champions will face English Premier League title holders Manchester City in the quarter-finals in April.
In the Champions League, they have strung together eight victories from as many matches played against opponents including Barcelona, Inter Milan and PSG.
Bayern have conceded just twice in their European campaign, against the Czechs of Viktoria Plzen.
Nagelsmann´s potential replacement Tuchel won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, but has been without a club since leaving the English side in September.
Tuchel had already been in touch with Bayern in recent days, according to German sports magazine Kicker.
Nagelsmann, 35, would leave Bayern after less than two years in charge.
The Bavarian side´s next fixture is a top-of-the-table clash against Dortmund in Munich on April 1.
"That is now a must-win game for us, because it will be very difficult to win the title otherwise," Nagelsmann said after the Leverkusen defeat.
Despite being in second place in the table, Bayern are enduring their worst league campaign in 11 years with only 52 points from 25 games.
They have been defeated three times — by Augsburg in mid-September, at Borussia Moenchengladbach in mid-February and then against Leverkusen. They have also drawn seven games.
Nagelsmann arrived from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2021 to replace Hansi Flick who had led Bayern to the Bundesliga title, German Cup, Champions League, German and European Super Cups and Club World Cup.
Flick then left to take over the German national team.
Nagelsmann has a contract at the club until the summer of 2026.