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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge backs extending Hasan Salihamidzic at Bayern Munich

The Bayern chairman told Welt am Sonntag that he would “welcome” extending the sporting director’s contract and giving him a position on Bayern’s board. He also defended Kovac from criticism over benching Thomas Müller.

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Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder Welcomes Bundesliga Champion And DFB Cup Winner FC Bayern Muenchen Photo by A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern

The contract of Bayern Munich’s sporting director since 2017, Hasan Salihamidzic, expires in 2021. In an extensive interview with Die Welt am Sonntag, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he would like to see Salihamidzic’s contract extended (via AZ):

Hasan is doing his job well, and I’d like his contract, which expires next summer, to be extended.

Salihamidzic himself aspires to join Bayern’s supervisory board as director of sport. His predecessor Matthias Sammer was the last sporting director to have a seat on the board. Rummenigge said that the “supervisory board must decide” whether Salihamidzic is ultimately included. Rummenigge said, however, “I would welcome it.”

Oliver Kahn will join the board in January in anticipation of his eventual succession to Rummenigge’s chairmanship. He obviously also will have formed an opinion of Salihamidzic’s work, although he has not shared it publicly. Rummenigge is optimistic that Kahn will rise to the occasion:

I am convinced that he will swim free during this time and afterward will be ready to take over the chairmanship of the board.

Salihamidzic has not cut the most media-savvy figure in his high-profile position, especially early on in his tenure, but he has weathered all the storms that have come his way — starting with the turbulent departure of Carlo Ancelotti in his very first seaon — and secured the signatures of several high-profile players.

Support for Kovac regarding Thomas Müller

Incidentally, Rummenigge also commented on criticism of Niko Kovac for benching Thomas Müller in favor of Philippe Coutinho. Yesterday we covered his declaration that the relationship between Müller and the club was “totally intact.”

SZ has now published an additional remark from the story in Die Welt. Rummenigge expressed his annoyance at criticism of Kovac for playing the Coutinho after Bayern was criticized previously for failing to sign star transfers:

What I think is somewhat absurd: in the summer, we were criticized at times for transfers that had thus far failed to materialize. Now we have a fantastic squad, and our coach is criticized because inevitably this or that prominent player doesn’t play from the start.

The prominent player who comes to mind, of course, is Thomas Müller.

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