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Coach Thomas Tuchel to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season

MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel will leave the club at the end of the season after a run of three straight losses raised the prospect of the club's first season without a trophy in 12 years.

Bayern said the decision was made after Tuchel spoke with chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen. Tuchel's contract was due to run through the end of the 2024-25 season.

“In a good, open discussion, we came to the decision to end our working relationship by mutual agreement in the summer," Dreesen said in a club statement. “Our goal is to pursue a new footballing direction with a new head coach for the 2024-25 season.”

Dreesen also pledged to “hold the team accountable” for performances through to the end of the season.

There was no word from the club on a possible successor.

Tuchel said in the statement that “I will of course continue to do everything I can with my coaching staff to achieve maximum success” until he leaves the club. Bayern's next game is Saturday at home to Leipzig with a squad heavily depleted by injuries.

Tuchel joined Bayern in March as the replacement for Julian Nagelsmann amid frustration from the Bayern hierarchy over the team's lack of consistency, a problem that persists.

Last season, Tuchel's team won the Bundesliga title for an 11th consecutive season in a thrilling end to the season. Bayern only won on goal difference after title rival Borussia Dortmund dropped points on the final day.

Losses to Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio and most recently Bochum on Sunday left Bayern eight points off Bundesliga leader Leverkusen with 12 games remaining and facing elimination in the Champions League round of 16. Bayern last lost three games in a row in all competitions at the end of the 2014-15 season under Pep Guardiola, though the team had already secured the Bundesliga title by then.

If Bayern can't overturn a 1-0 deficit to Lazio in the second leg in Munich on March, it would be the German team's earliest exit from the Champions League since a loss to Liverpool in the round of 16 in 2018-19.

Bayern was already knocked out of the German Cup in October by third-division Saarbruecken in one of the competition's biggest ever shocks.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer

The Associated Press