Hoffenheim have appointed 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann as their new manager just one day after Huub Stevens resigned for health reasons.
The Bundesliga club are seven points from safety and five adrift of the relegation play-off place following a disastrous campaign.
Hoffenheim say Nagelsmann, the former under-19s coach, was to take over next season but will take charge with immediate effect after successful ‘intensive’ talks. The 28-year-old played at youth level for 1860 Munich and Augsburg before his career was ended by persistent knee problems.
Hoffenheim CEO Peter Goerlich, who gave the young coach a three-and-a-half contract, said: "We have a duty of care to the club and of course to the people involved. Together with Julian we already went through all the risks involved last autumn and we've now decided to start our joint course earlier."
Stevens resigned on Wednesday due to cardiac arrhythmia, heart rhythm irregularities, and is expected to retire from football. Meanwhile, Nagelsmann takes the job having worked under Thomas Tuchel, the current Borussia Dortmund coach, at Augsburg.
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