English clubs on red alert as Thomas Tuchel wants return after Bayern exit

Thomas Tuchel while Bayern Munich manager

Thomas Tuchel will put the country’s top clubs and potentially the Football Association on red alert by prioritising a move back to England when he leaves Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

Bayern on Wednesday confirmed that Tuchel would leave the club once this season has finished and Telegraph Sport understands that a return to England will be the German’s preference.

Tuchel knows that the Liverpool job will be available and the Merseyside club now face competition from Bayern for Xabi Alonso, their top target, who is in charge of Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

There is also the possibility of Manchester United looking for a new manager, following the Ineos investment, while Gareth Southgate’s future as England manager after the European Championships is uncertain.

Tuchel would have been interested in succeeding Southgate after the Qatar World Cup, when the German was out of work, and it is thought the FA would consider an anglicised foreigner if and when they come to replace the 53-year-old.

While Bayern have suffered a hugely disappointing season, Tuchel’s stock in England remains high following a successful spell at Chelsea, where he won the Champions League, the Club World Cup and reached the finals of the Carabao and FA Cups.

Tuchel also received widespread praise for the way in which he helped navigate Chelsea through the restrictions that were placed on the club after former owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned.

Bayern’s troubles are not expected to impact Tuchel’s reputation with those inside football aware of the difficulties he has faced at Bayern and understanding of the fact that, since Pep Guardiola, the German club have churned through respected coaches such as Carlo Ancelotti, Niko Kovac, Hansi Flick and Julian Nagelsmann.

Guardiola is regarded as being the last coach to have been given the power to build his own squad and implement his ideas at Bayern, and it is not considered a coincidence that the club’s struggles have coincided with the difficulties faced by the German national team, which is always heavily reliant on Bayern players.

Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka have struggled for club and country, while Thomas Muller is now 34 and past his best.

In recent years, Bayern have sold foreign stars such as David Alaba, to Real Madrid, Thiago Alcantara, to Liverpool, and Robert Lewandowski, to Barcelona. Other than Harry Kane, who Tuchel convinced to move to Germany, they have failed to replace them with players of similar quality.

Thomas Tuchel lifts the Champions League in 2021 as Chelsea manager
Thomas Tuchel's stock remains high in English football after winning the league with Chelsea - Reuters/Susana Vera

Tuchel pushed for Bayern to sign Declan Rice from West Ham United, but the Bundesliga giants were beaten by Arsenal, and saw the club farcically fail to sign Joao Palhinha from Fulham at the end of last summer’s transfer window.

Tuchel has been the latest Bayern coach to see numerous leaks to the German media, which Nagelsmann was shocked by. Player power continues to be an issue inside the dressing room that club chiefs have been accused of encouraging, rather than eradicating, while the noise and criticism from former players and executives is a constant source of frustration and added pressure.

The chaos that has gripped Bayern may well be best summed up by the fact that former sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and chief executive Oliver Kahn were sacked hours before they dramatically won last season’s Bundelsiga title under Tuchel.

Bayern announced the fact that Tuchel would not stay at the club beyond the end of the season through Jan-Christian Dreesen, the latest chief executive, who was formerly the club’s finance officer.

Having previously said that Tuchel would remain in his post, Dreesen said: “In a good, open discussion, we came to the decision to end our working relationship by mutual agreement in the summer. Our goal is to pursue a new footballing direction with a new head coach for the 2024/25 season.

“Until then, every individual at the club is expressly called upon to achieve the maximum possible in the Champions League and Bundesliga. I also explicitly hold the team accountable in this regard. In the Champions League in particular, after losing 1-0 in the first leg at Lazio, we are convinced we will reach the quarter-finals at a packed Allianz Arena with our fans behind us.”

Tuchel said: “We have agreed that we will end our working relationship at the end of this season. Until then, I will of course continue to do everything I can with my coaching staff to achieve maximum success.”

Bayern are eight points behind Alonso’s Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga, having won the title for 11 successive seasons. They must overturn a one-goal deficit to progress in the Champions League after losing the first leg of their last-16 tie 1-0 away to Lazio.

If Bayern do not go through, with the second leg on March 5, there remains the possibility of Tuchel leaving before the season comes to a close.