Jupp Heynckes will be replaced as Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach by SC Freiburg boss Robin Dutt at the end of the season.
Heynckes, who arrived at the BayArena in summer 2009, will leave the club on 30 June after opting not to extend his contract with the club. Dutt will then take the reins after signing a two-year deal, with Leverkusen holding the option of a further 12 months.
Heynckes steered the club to a fourth-placed Bundesliga finish last term and they are currently second in the top flight, although Leverkusen were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League in the round of 16 last Thursday by Villarreal CF.
"Mr Heynckes has informed us he will not be available for another year," said Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhäuser. "We now want to reach the Champions League with Heynckes. Robin Dutt has always been our first choice to succeed Jupp Heynckes – no matter if it had been 2011 or 2012."
While Heynckes, 65, admitted it had been a "very difficult decision" to leave, his successor is relishing the task ahead. "I am looking forward to the challenge of working with a side that has been outstandingly prepared by Jupp Heynckes," said Dutt, whose Freiburg team lie eighth. "Bayer 04 Leverkusen's philosophy matches my view of football."
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