'Thomas Tuchel was close to a move to Juventus,' says Lothar Matthaus
Lothar Matthaus claims Bayern Munich only hired Thomas Tuchel because they were ‘nervous’ he was ‘close to a move to Juventus’ and ‘didn’t believe in Julian Nagelsmann 100 per cent’
- Matthaus claims Tuchel was edging closer towards a move to Italy at the time
- He eventually joined Bayern instead, who axed Nagelsmann in the process
- Tuchel had been out of work since being sacked by Chelsea back in September
Former Bayern Munich midfielder has claimed his old club only signed Thomas Tuchel to stop Juventus from acquiring the German manager.
The German Champions ruthlessly sacked their previous manager Julian Nagelsmann after holding 61-minute crisis talks after the former Bayern boss had ripped into his players for having ‘zero work rate’ following a 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen.
Under Nagelsmann this season, Bayern had only lost just three of the 27 league matches he took charge of, while also guiding the club to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
He was succeeded by Thomas Tuchel in March, with it being revealed that talks to acquire the former Chelsea boss had started three days before Nagelsmann was formally sacked.
And Lothar Matthaus has now claimed he thought it was a ‘surprise’ that the club replaced Nagelsmann, before suggesting that the club hired Tuchel to stop him from going to Juventus.
Lothar Matthaus has claimed that Bayern hired Thomas Tuchel because they were ‘nervous’ Juventus could get him
He claimed that the German manager (pictured) was ‘close’ to a move to the Serie A giants
Matthaus also claimed that the club at the time ‘didn’t believe in Julian Nagelsmann (pictured) 100 per cent’
‘It was a big surprise for many, not just me,’ Matthaus, who made 410 appearances for the club, said in an interview with GOAL.
‘Nagelsmann did a good job and won the Bundesliga, maybe he wasn’t so good in the Champions League in his first year. But this year he won against PSG, Inter, Barcelona all twice, in Bundesliga it wasn’t perfect but he wasn’t [far] away from the trophy, I thought it was a joke at first but it wasn’t April 1st.
‘A lot of players were happy with him and spoke well of him when he left, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich for example. Something must have happened for Bayern to make that decision.’
While bewildered as to why the club would replace Nagelsmann, Matthaus gave his assessment of why they appointed his successor, claiming: ‘Tuchel was close to a move to Juventus.’
‘Bayern was nervous, Tuchel was free and Bayern didn’t believe in Nagelsmann 100%. They can’t sack him when he’s won three titles so they decided to sack him now.’
Tuchel spent a little over six months out of work after he was sacked by Chelsea last September, just 100 days into Todd Boehly’s tenure as the club’s new owner.
The Blues had fallen to sixth in the Premier League standings at the time, suffering notable losses to Leeds (3-0) and Southampton (2-1), both now threatened by relegation, before suffering a 1-0 defeat by Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League group stages.
Nagelsmann (bottom middle) departed the club soon after, having won a Bundesliga title and two German Super Cups with the club
Tuchel, meanwhile, has had a difficult start to life at Bayern Munich, with the club crashing out of both the Champions League and German Cup within his first two weeks at the club
Bayern Munich succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the weekend to RB Leipzig, putting their hopes of claiming the Bundesliga title this season in jeopardy
They were overtaken at the top of the table by their league rivals Borussia Dortmund after Sebastian Haller (pictured) scored a brace to give Edin Terzic’s side a 3-0 win at Augsburg
Dortmund now sit two points ahead of Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga table and both teams now have one game left this season
That would be his last game in charge at the club, and since arriving back in management, the 49-year-old, who has also managed at Borussia Dortmund and Augsburg, has struggled to get off to a good start on his return to the Bundesliga.
Since taking over in March, Tuchel has overseen 18 matches, seeing Bayern crash out of the Champions League in the Quarter-Finals to Manchester City, suffer a devastating German Cup semi-final loss to Freiburg and drop to second in the league standings, behind rivals Dortmund.
Edin Terzic’s side sit in the driving seat, two points clear of Bayern at the top of the league, after they claimed a huge 3-0 victory on Sunday against Augsburg while Bayern dropped points with a 3-1 loss to RB Leipzig on Saturday.
The German Champions can still win the league, but will need a miracle, with Dortmund set to take on ninth placed Mainz in their final game of the season next week, with Tuchel’s side set to take on 10th placed Koln.
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