Borussia Dortmund chief coach Thomas Tuchel could be free to move on in the next few weeks. While Tuchel is facing a German Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Berlin on May 27, rumours are that it could be his last game for the yellow-blacks, as the 43-year-old is said to be the hot favourite to replace Arsenal’s incumbent Arsene Wenger.
According to media reports, Dortmund are interested in appointing Lucien Favre, the Swiss who is currently at OGC Nice.
Tuchel’s position at the club has worsened, and not only with Dortmund’s club leaders but with his footballers too. Several reports indicate that the coach is becoming increasingly isolated within the club and his squad. Neither Dortmund nor Tuchel have denied the reports. Instead, they have decided to stay silent after the cup final.
According to Dortmund’s Managing Director Michael Zorc, a meeting will decide whether Tuchel, who has a contract until 2018, will remain in charge. Zorc said football will play a role as will trust and communication. Most pundits expect Tuchel’s departure as the gap between the parties seems to be too wide to be healed.
Tuchel complained the team and he had been left to fend for themselves after the bomb attack on their team bus only hours before the first leg of the Champions League duel against AS Monaco. He accused Borussia CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke of not having done enough to prevent the team from having to play only 23 hours after the attack.
The relationship between Tuchel and Watzke also deteriorated after a major row. Watzke retaliated in an interview with a local Dortmund newspaper, accusing Tuchel of a serious breach of trust one day before a league match. Pundits assumed Watzke wanted to make it clear just who is in charge of the club.
The 59-year-old Favre told German media he would be honoured by an offer from Dortmund but did not go into detail.
Favre could be an ideal coach for Dortmund as he knows the German Bundesliga after working for Hertha BSC (2007-2009) and Borussia Moenchengladbach (2011-2015). The job at Dortmund would give him the chance to work at top Europe team as Dortmund are likely to qualify for the Champions League behind league champions Bayern Munich and runners-up RB Leipzig.
Two years ago, when Dortmund appointed Tuchel, Favre was in the final round of candidates.
The Munich-based newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” reported there were major difficulties between Tuchel and most of his squad.
Players complained about too many tactical changes as well as an atmosphere of mistrust between team and coach. The public image of a close relationship between the two is therefore misleading the paper wrote.
Recently Dortmund President Reinhard Rauball backed Watzke as he pointed out that the CEO has long proved his worth to the club. One should have trust in Watzke as the club boss. Rauball’s comments were regarded as a clear message in both Tuchel’s direction and the entire club.
Both top officials made it clear that the club, in the person of Watzke, had made enormous efforts to help the team through the dark hours after the bomb attack. They were, however, nullified by UEFA.
For the time being, Tuchel and Dortmund’s club leaders are trying to ease the tension and expressed their intention to do everything to end the season on a high note in the cup final in Berlin.
Then they would look for a solution to their differences. However, the intention of both sides was to fulfil the existing contract.
This solution could only be Tuchel’s departure, said Michael Rummenigge, brother of Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and former Dortmund player, in a recent TV football show.