Jupp Heynckes has agreed to come out of retirement to take over Bayern Munich for a fourth spell in charge, the German champions confirmed on Friday.
Heynckes, who led Bayern to a historic treble in 2012-13 in his third spell in charge, has a signed a contract with the Bavarian club until June 2018. He will be joined in Munich by assistant Peter Hermann after second division side Fortuna Düsseldorf agreed to release their assistant coach.
"There is a great deal of trust between Jupp Heynckes and FC Bayern," said chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in an official statement. "We are extremely grateful to Jupp for agreeing to accept the role of head coach. He is the ideal coach for FC Bayern at this moment in time."
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added: "Jupp Heynckes is a master of man-management and tactics. We are convinced that he is absolutely the right man to lead the team to success again in the current situation."
Heynckes himself, who retired after Bayern's 2013 treble win, said Bayern Munich have a "special place in my heart" and revealed he would not have come out of retirement for any other club.
"My coaching team and I will now do everything we can to ensure that the team can provide the supporters with successful football. I can't wait to get started."
The 72-year-old will take charge of training on Monday and will take his place on the Bayern bench when the defending Bundesliga champions host Freiburg on October 14.
German football reacts
Germany's legendary World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer told Bild that he was "surprised that Jupp is taking this gamble" but "the more I think about it, the more I am pleased about his return."
Beckenbauer, who is currently Bayern's honorary president despite being embroiled in corruption allegations regarding the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany, added: "I believe he can handle the situation. One thing is clear – the team now have to show character and can't hide behind the coach any longer."
Speaking in Belfast after Germany's 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Northern Ireland, national team coach Joachim Löw opined: "[Heynckes] is an incredibly experienced coach who has a great aura," before joking that "if he comes back any more times then he might end up being my successor!"
Defender Jerome Boateng, who was part of Heynckes' last Bayern team, said before confirmation of the appointment that there is "no better solution. He knows the club and the players inside out. He is a great coach with a great personal touch and lots of experience."
Interestingly, Boateng also added that Heynckes "will get on well with the bosses" – a veiled reference to Rummenigge and club president Uli Hoeness, who were split over the issue of Carlo Ancelotti's successor. While Rummenigge favored former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, Hoeness is said to have favored the option of a short-term appointment before making a move for highly rated Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann in the summer.
Tuchel himself took to Twitter to congratulate Heynckes, writing: "I wish you all the best, dear Jupp! #Legend"
Hoffenheim deny Nagelsmann rumors
Hoffenheim's sporting director Alexander Rosen has dismissed any suggestion of Nagelsmann joining Bayern.
"There has been no approach from Bayern Munich," he told Hoffenheim's internal media channels. "They have not approached me, our board or [club patron] Dietmar Hopp. It is pure speculation which has been copied and distributed, but that does not make it a fact. It's simply not an issue for us."
Rosen also had warm words for Heynckes, saying: "The man is a living legend. One of the most successful coaches in the history of football."