Jörg Butt has postponed his plans to retire at the end of the season after signing a new contract that will keep him at FC Bayern München until June 2012, while promising goalkeeper Thomas Kraft will leave for pastures new this summer.
Butt, 36, had intended to hang up his gloves this month in exchange for a role as director of Bayern's youth academy, but following discussions with club management, has now been convinced to extend his playing career. "Jörg Butt is a first-class goalkeeper," said the chairman of the Bayern board, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "I'm extremely happy he has decided to stay with Bayern for another year. This, incidentally, also fulfils a wish expressed by our new head coach Jupp Heynckes."
The decision to prolong Butt's playing career has restricted opportunities for Kraft who, after breaking into the first team this campaign under Louis van Gaal, has found himself behind Butt in the pecking order since the arrival of caretaker coach Andries Jonker. The 22-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, is now expected to move on at the end of the season.
"Kraft's understandable goal is to be a first-choice goalkeeper, but we cannot guarantee him that," explained Christian Nerlinger, Bayern's sporting director. "We wish Thomas all the very best and great success in the future, both professionally and in his private life."
Bayern, who will have Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach Heynckes at the helm next season, remain hopeful of qualifying for the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League after their 4-1 defeat of FC Schalke 04 on Saturday took them two points above Hannover 96 in third place in the Bundesliga standings with two matches remaining.
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