KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Carlo Ancelotti has paid the price for the embarrassment of Bayern Munich’s decisive defeat by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Bosses of the German champions, notably outspoken president Uli Hoeness, have been sharply critical of PSG’s big-spending strategy which, this summer, has included €222m on Brazil striker Neymar from Barcelona and the likely €140m on loan signing Kylian Mbappe.
Bayern have insisted they want to concentrate on their own resources and comparatively modest player investment. However that strategy was laid bare in the Parc des Princes when Dani Alves, Edinson Cavani and Neymar scored the goals with Mbappe goalless but a perpetual danger.
Ancelotti’s tenure had already been cast into question after the club’s slow start to the Bundesliga season albeit they are third in the table. only three points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund – themselves defeated in the Champions League this week by Real Madrid.
On Monday the German football magazine Kicker published an interview with Hoeness in which he declared the club’s ambition to regain the Champions League Cup which they won last in 2013 “auf bayerische Art” – in Bayern style.
Not this season, anyway.
Ancelotti, highly-successful former Milan, Juventus, Chelsea, PSG (ironically) and Real Madrid boss, had been in charge at the Allianz Arena for nearly 15 months after succeeeding Pep Guardiola successor in July 2016.
Hoffenheim’s young manager Julian Nagelsmann is favourite though Bayern’s assistant coach Willy Sagnol may have to step up as caretaker. Ex-Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is another contender.
Ancelotti led Bayern to their fifth consecutive Bundesliga title in his first season in charge but his side were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League against his former club Real Madrid, while they were beaten 3-2 by Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals of the German cup.
Bayern ceo Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “The performance of our team since the start of the season did not meet the expectations we put to them. The game in Paris clearly showed that we had to draw consequences.
“(Bayern sporting director) Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious discussion with Carlo today and informed him of our decision.
“I would like to thank Carlo for his co-operation and regret this development. Carlo is my friend and will remain (so), but we had to make a professional decision for FC Bayern.
“I now expect the team to have a positive development and absolute performance, so we can reach our goals for this season.”