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Football | Germany

Bayern boss Heynckes linked to Schalke



Bayern Munich's out-going coach Jupp Heynckes has been linked to the Bavarians' Bundesliga rivals Schalke 04, according to reports in the German media on Monday.

With Bayern 15 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, Heynckes, 67, stands down after two years in charge of Munich at the end of the season and will be replaced by former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola on July 1.

Schalke appointed Jens Keller as coach in December after Huub Stevens was sacked for poor results, but things have not improved with the Royal Blues having had one win in their last 11 matches and are ninth in the league.

Galatasaray host Schalke in the Champions League last 16, first-leg clash in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday.

German daily Bild report Schalke's bosses have held talks with Heynckes, who has said he may continue coaching once his Bayern contract expires in June.

"It is a name which has been floated around and will be speculated on, like many other names before, and it will probably not be the last. We will not comment," Schalke general manager Horst Heldt told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

Bayern, who face Arsenal in London on Tuesday in the Champions League, were quick to respond.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness scoffed: "I can't imagine that, it's an early April fool's joke," while Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was more diplomatic.

"I can confirm that Jupp Heynckes is very happy and is doing a great job for us, but I do not know what Schalke and Jupp Heynckes have as plans," he said before flying to London for the Arsenal game.

"I am sure Jupp Heynckes will make a decision (about his future) in peace."

Heynckes has already had a brief stint as Schalke coach in the 2003/04 season when his team finished seventh in the league, but was sacked at the start of the following season after his team's poor start.

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