FC Schalke 04 have announced that Felix Magath will join the club as coach and sporting director next season after agreeing a contract through until the summer of 2013. Earlier in the day, VfL Wolfsburg revealed Magath would be leaving at the end of the season and he will be hoping to sign off on a high by leading the Bundesliga leaders to their first German title.
Magath replaces Mike Büskens, Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck at Schalke, the coaching trio having been appointed following Fred Rutten's dismissal on 27 March. Schalke have endured a disappointing season. They were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round before finishing bottom of their UEFA Cup group. They are seventh in the Bundesliga, eleven points off leaders Wolfsburg.
An official Wolfsburg statement read: "Felix Magath will end his work as coach and sporting director with VfL Wolfsburg on 30 June 2009. At this time the 55-year-old will also leave the Bundesliga club's executive board. This is the result of talks between the board and Felix Magath in the past weeks." Former FC Bayern München boss Magath added: "We have reached the targets we set for ourselves when I joined the club in summer 2007 much faster than expected. The team is still young, has scope for development and are committed to the club"
Former West Germany midfielder Magath joined Wolfsburg in 2007 after winning domestic doubles at Bayern in 2004/05 and 2005/06. The former Hamburger SV player had previously coached Hamburg, 1. FC Nürnberg, Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt and VfB Stuttgart. He could yet leave Wolfsburg with his third Bundesliga title as a coach, the chairman of the club's board, Hans Dieter Pötsch, adding: "With four matches to go before the end of the season, we are already very grateful to Felix Magath for the work he has initiated. Within the shortest time, he has had extraordinary success with VfL."
Meanwhile, Wolfsburg's Bundesliga opponents on Saturday, Stuttgart, have agreed a further 12-month extension with their coaching team of Markus Babbel and Rainer Widmayer, with 41-year-old Alexander Zorniger set to join them from 1. FC Normannia Gmünd as an assistant from next season. Stuttgart are fourth in the Bundesliga, and the coaches are now committed to the cause until summer 2011. Sporting director Horst Heldt said: "Markus Babbel and Rainer Widmayer take significant credit for the positive development we have undergone over recent weeks and months. We are glad that we could agree on a continuation of our co-operation early."
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