Bayern Munich and Germany legend Lothar Matthaus has claimed that Hansi Flick will leave the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League to return to the national team as head coach at the end of this season with RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann as his replacement at Allianz Arena.
The 56-year-old spent eight years with the Mannschaft between 2006-14 as Joachim Low's assistant before joining Bayern in 2019, initially as assistant to Niko Kovac, before being promoted to permanent boss after an interim spell.
Matthaus told Sky Deutschland that this will be Flick's final campaign and that he is the German Football Federation's (DFB) lead candidate to replace Low after this summer's Euros.
"I already said two weeks ago that in my opinion that this is Hansi's last season," declared the 56-year-old. "I have said that Hansi is right at the top of the DFB list and then nothing else for a long time. Yes, there is an offer from the DFB.
"They want Hansi and I think, convinced actually, that Hansi will no longer be Bayern coach after this season. That means the last game against Augsburg at home will be Hansi's last game as head coach of Bayern."
On top of that, Matthaus added that 33-year-old Nagelsmann has been identified by Bayern as the ideal replacement for Flick and that informal discussions have already taken place about the possibility of taking over in Bavaria from this summer.
"Munich have already chatted a bit with Julian, including about financial matters," he said. "Before the start of this season, Flick said that the coach should have a vote on new signings, which I think is right. As a coach, what am I going to do with players who I perhaps do not want?
"I think it has gotten too much for Hansi, and then the offer, the opportunity, is there to become Jogi's successor."
Nagelsmann is in demand with Tottenham Hotspur also believed to be considering him as a potential replacement for the underwhelming Jose Mourinho with Jesse Marsch in the mix to make the jump from Red Bull Salzburg to Leipzig.
However, the former TSG 1899 Hoffenheim tactician has refuted Matthaus' idea that there have been talks with Bayern and added that his representatives have also not been in contact with the Bundesliga titleholders and current leaders.
"There were and there are no talks with FC Bayern," said Nagelsmann. "I have no idea where Lothar got this information from. This of course also applies to my agents, there were no talks. I have not spoken to the club because there will be nothing to discuss. I am under contract with RB until 2023."
Nagelsmann knows that if he stays at Red Bull Arena, he will lose Dayot Upamecano to Bayern with the France international's transfer already arranged. However, if he does make the move back to Bavaria, then he will reunite with the 22-year-old there after his $51 million move.
German soccer is currently going through something of a managerial merry-go-round with Marco Rose moving from Borussia Monchengladbach to Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt's Adi Hutter replacing him at BORUSSIA-PARK.
Ralf Rangnick is being linked with both the coach and sporting director role at Deutsche Bank Park with Fredi Bobic expected to join Hertha Berlin when he leaves at the close of this season, marking the end of an era in Frankfurt am Main.
With Jurgen Klopp out of the running for both the Germany and Bayern roles, Nagelsmann appears to be the most logical target with no other obvious domestic candidates and potential in-house and former players options seemingly not yet ready for such a responsibility.
An outside bet, perhaps, is Xabi Alonso of Real Sociedad's reserve side who finished his career with Bayern in 2017 and recently was linked with Gladbach before extending his contract in San Sebastian which would presumably not be too pricey for the German juggernaut.
With Salihamidzic not expected to move on, such an option might be the best fit for Bayern as Alonso would just be starting out as a head coach and therefore more likely to accept working under such a controlling sporting director.
Otherwise, Bayern could always go for Mourinho if he is eventually moved on by Spurs in what would be one of modern soccer's most unlikely pairings and a return to non-German bosses after Carlo Ancelotti.