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Thomas Tuchel leaves Dortmund future open after spat

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Borussia Dortmund’s head coach Thomas Tuchel © AFP/File / SASCHA SCHUERMANN

BERLIN, Germany, May 12 – Thomas Tuchel on Friday threw open his future as Borussia Dortmund’s head coach in the aftermath of his public disagreement with the Bundesliga side’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

When asked in a press conference if he will stay on next season, Tuchel replied: “I am the wrong person to talk to about this. It would be naive from me, after a week like this, to say ‘we’ll keep going as things are.’

“I feel strong enough to put this aside and feel compelled to concentrate on the sport.

“If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have told you: ‘I’m quite sure that I will be the coach here next season’.

“There have been so many untruths and false quotes this week which dramatically over-stepped the mark for me.

“I have had to put my feelings aside, even if that’s been difficult.”

Dortmund are third in the Bundesliga and need a win at Augsburg on Saturday to stay on course for an automatic Champions League spot, but the off-field focus is on the rift between Tuchel and Watzke.

Tuchel, 43, replaced Jurgen Klopp as Dortmund’s coach for the 2015-16 season and has a year left on his contract.

However last Saturday, chief executive Watzke admitted his relationship with Tuchel was strained by the decision to play their Champions League quarter-final first-leg a day after last month’s bomb attack on their team bus.

Tuchel complained bitterly in the aftermath of the 3-2 defeat by Monaco that he had not been involved in the decision, but Watzke says that is not true.

Contract extension talks would normally take place at the end of this season, but Tuchel was cool on the subject.

“A contract extension is not a certificate or a medal you simply get hung around your neck,” he said.

“There are conversations at eye-level and agreements to keep working together.

“I am an employee and I do everything I can to achieve the goals we have.

“For everything else, we need a little patience and a little distance.”

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