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Bayern start search for Ancelotti successor

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Munich (Germany) (AFP)

Bayern Munich are putting their faith in Willy Sagnol as interim coach "for now" while seeking a replacement for the sacked Carlo Ancelotti, said the club's sporting director Friday.

Two days before the Bundesliga champions visit Hertha Berlin, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic took Ancelotti's place at the pre-match press conference.

Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was also absent, after he made the decision to fire Ancelotti a day after the side suffered a stinging Champions League 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain.

Asked what sort of coach Bayern are looking for, Salihamidzic said: "That's something that we are discussing internally, the names too. We won't comment about this, otherwise there will be speculation, and that's not our intention."

"I can't name any names, nor profile. For the time being Willy Sagnol is our solution until further notice," he added, referring to the ex-France international, who had been serving as Ancelotti's assistant.

Pressed on the issue, Salihamidzic would only add that "it would be good" if the new coach spoke German.

Having won the 2001 Champions League trophy with Bayern, Sagnol has management experience after coaching French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux from 2014 until last year.

- 'No more excuses' -

Bayern president Uli Hoeness had said earlier Friday that he planned to hire a new coach by mid-October.

But Salihamidzic was less committal about the timeframe.

"We are discussing this internally. At Bayern, we usually make our decisions unanimously," he said. "We will remain in a room and come out with a decision.

"We'll talk about the profile we need. We've only just separated from Ancelotti yesterday... We need to let things settle, and analyse the situation calmly.

"We will see, and if we find a solution, we'll hire a coach."

Wednesday night's defeat to PSG was Bayern's heaviest since losing 3-0 away to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, first leg, in May 2015.

It was also their heaviest loss in a group game in the competition since a 3-0 reverse in Lyon in March 2001.

Asked if he thought Ancelotti was being "provocative" by benching several key players like Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mats Hummels, Salihamidzic did not agree.

"No, I don't think that Carlo was seeking provocation," he insisted.

"He was convinced that he had the right line-up and he thought that with this team we would win.

"It's a daring move, that's clear, for such an important match. But he was absolutely convinced about what he was doing.

"There are no more excuses now. We have to win in Berlin, the team has to show a reaction.

"Believe me, we will emerge from this situation a stronger team. We will reach our objectives and be champions of Germany."

Bayern are currently third in the Bundesliga table after six games, three points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund.

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