Reports Bayern Munich approached Freiburg’s Christian Streich to become their head coach has added extra spice to Sunday’s Bundesliga clash between the sides.
According to German daily Bild, Bayern made “loose contact” with Streich, 52, in February to replace Jupp Heynckes next season.
Heynckes, 72, is adamant he will walk away from Bayern in May and the hunt is on to find his successor.
However, Freiburg’s sports director Jochen Saier is annoyed by the speculation and the prospect of losing their iconic coach.
“Someone builds something up in this world, others take it down, we can not do much about that,” Saier told Sport1.de
“But we will certainly not jump through every hoop which is held up for us and are looking forward to an interesting game against Bayern Munich.”
Heyncckes, for one, has given his seal of approval to such a move.
“He’s been working for Freiburg for 23 years, and if you have to give up your best players every year, yet can still put together a team that can stay in the league, that’s great,” Heynckes said on Friday.
“I like the way he works with his lads, he has a lot of empathy and is an exceptional coach.”
Bild claimed Bayern contacted Streich as two prefered candidates — Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Germany’s World Cup winning coach Joachim Loew — are unavailable.
Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann, 30, and Niko Kovac, 46, at Eintracht Frankfurt — rising stars on the Bundesliga circuit — are both considered too inexperienced, say Bild.
Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked by Borussia Dortmund last May despite winning the German Cup, is seen as too volatile for Bayern’s senior figures.
The eccentric Streich, who has been at Freiburg since 1995, has a reputation for nurturing talent who then often move on to bigger clubs.
He is known for lecturing his players on current affairs as much as football and Freiburg regularly punch above their weight under his stewardship.
Sunday’s match at Freiburg’s Schwarzwald Stadion, where the hosts are unbeaten in their last six games, will have plenty of other talking points.
Rumours are again rife that Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who is on 29 goals for the season, is eyeing a move to Real Madrid.
It has emerged the Poland star is working with Israeli agent Pini Zahavi, who fixed Neymar’s world record move to Paris Saint-Germain and has close links with Real.
On Friday, Heynckes warned Lewandowski to focus solely on Bayern, who are 19 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Heynckes’s ticking off came after Lewandowski and Germany defender Mats Hummels traded insults in a fiery Bayern training session on Wednesday.