Bayer Leverkusen has dismissed coach Heiko Herrlich and appointed Dutchman Peter Bosz, who returns to the Bundesliga after a spell in charge at Borussia Dortmund.
Dutchman Bosz, 55, who took Ajax to the 2017 Europa League, has signed a contract until June 30, 2020. He will take over on Jan. 4. Leverkusen defeated Hertha Berlin 3-1 on Saturday to move to ninth in the league going into the winter break.
The side had won four of its last five competitive matches, but that was not enough to save 47-year-old Herrlich, who had been in charge since June 2017.
Former striker Herrlich, who was capped five times by Germany and played for Leverkusen, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Dortmund, will leave with immediate effect, along with his assistant Nico Schneck. Leverkusen's sport chief executive, Rudi Voeller said Herrlich, had given the team "an important boost last year after a very difficult season," returning the club to European competition.
"Unfortunately, a stagnation in the development of the team can no longer be denied," he said. Although the team was again in a position to qualify for Europe next season "we are in a situation which makes a change of coach necessary in view of the unsatisfactory first half of the season," he added. Former midfielder Bosz, capped eight times by the Netherlands, will be back in the Bundesliga after a brief and unsatisfactory spell at Dortmund, where he was dismissed in December last year after six months.