Klopp to Quit Borussia Dortmund After Current Season

Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, who led the soccer team to two Bundesliga titles and one German cup, will quit at the end of this season.

Dortmund agreed to release the 47-year-old effective June 30 from his contract that was scheduled to run until 2018, the club said Wednesday. Former Mainz 05 coach Thomas Tuchel may succeed him, Bild newspaper reported.

“I have said that when the moment comes when I have the feeling that I’m not the perfect coach for this exceptional club anymore I’ll say it,” Klopp told reporters after sharing a hug with Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke. “You can’t imagine how hard this is.”

Borussia Dortmund shares slumped as much as 6 percent to its lowest intraday price since November 2013, and fell 2.9 percent, to 3.486 euros a share, at 1:47 p.m. in Frankfurt. The club declined to comment on a potential successor.

Klopp joined Dortmund from Mainz in 2008 and turned a mediocre team into a squad that won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 with fast-paced attacking soccer. It reached the 2013 Champions League final, losing to Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich. The team, which features German national team players including Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, has had a rocky start and was last in the German league after 19 games this season.

While it has climbed to 10th place since, the Champions League is out of reach and the club may struggle to secure a Europa League qualification spot. Dortmund fell into the relegation zone after losing as many as six players to long-term injuries while others missed preseason preparations because they played in the World Cup.

Klopp, who has been linked with coaching positions in England’s Premier League, said he has not yet made any plans for his future.

“Both sides have invested a lot and we both got a lot back in return,” Klopp said. “But I’m convinced the decision is the absolute right one.”

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