RB Leipzig and coach Ralph Hasenhuttl have parted ways after failing to agree on a contract extension beyond 2019.
The 50-year-old leaves the Bundesliga side after finishing sixth in the club’s second season in Germany’s top tier. On Wednesday, Leipzig and Hasenhuttl signed a mutually agreed contract termination, the Bundesliga club announced.
“I would have liked to go into the new season with Ralph Hasenhuttl as our head coach,” RB sporting director Ralf Rangnick said in a statement on the club’s official website. “And I informed him of this wish in personal talks. But contrary to the winter, I had come to the conclusion that one year for now would have been enough.
“But there was no alternative to a contract extension for Ralph. And that’s why he expressed the wish to terminate the contract. Reluctantly, we accepted this wish.”
Leipzig CEO Olaf Mintzlaff thanked Hasenhuttl for his services but added that “a contract extension at this time would not have been the right step for this club.”
And the Austrian coach said that to “turn Leipzig’s long-term goals into reality a sustainable contract solution” would have been ideal for the club. “After achieving success together, you should be able to be honest and choose a clear no rather than a soothing yes.”
He added: “That’s why I asked to terminate my contract prematurely.”
RB Leipzig have granted Ralph #Hasenhüttl‘s wish to terminate his contract with #DieRotenBullen prematurely. The club had hoped to continue working with our head coach until his current contract ended in summer 2019. pic.twitter.com/uD3UKdJMYd
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) May 16, 2018
Having joined Leipzig from Ingolstadt in 2016, Hasenhuttl’s XI took the Bundesliga by storm as they finished runners-up to Bayern Munich in their maiden season in Germany’s top flight.
However, arriving at the top of the German pyramid also meant the club also had to cope with players wanting to make the next step at bigger clubs. Last summer, Guinea midfielder Naby Keita agreed to join Liverpool after the 2018 World Cup.
Sweden international Emil Forsberg also wanted out, but Leipzig did not allow him a transfer as they headed into their first Champions League season.
With 18 months left on the deal, Hasenhuttl and Leipzig watched each other furtively from the winter break on. Both sides at different stages claimed they wanted to prolong the contract, but talks were delayed until after the season.
In early May, Hasenhuttl confirmed on ZDF TV that he was contacted by Bayern Munich earlier this year as the Bundesliga champions were settling upon Jupp Heynckes’s successor.
In April, Mintzlaff said on Sport 1 that they were “a bit fed up” with rumours linking Hasenhuttl to other clubs. “We have always said that we will go into the new season with him.”
Hasenhuttl has also been linked with Borussia Dortmund, who are expected to announce Lucien Favre as their new coach once the Ligue 1 season ends at the weekend.