MUNICH (AP) – Bayern Munich appointed Matthias Sammer as sporting director to replace the fired Christian Nerlinger on Monday.
Sammer starts immediately after being granted his release as director of the German football federation (DFB), where he spent the past six years.
Sammer recently extended his contract with the DFB until 2016, but DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said the federation decided to let him go ''with a heavy heart.''
Bayern said it was parting ways with Nerlinger, who had been sporting director since July 2009, due to his and the board's ''differing views on the concept for the future of the team.''
The decision, taken at the end of the season, was being announced after the European Championships ''due to the expected ruckus it would cause.''
''On behalf of the club I wish to thank Christian Nerlinger for his work in the last four years at Bayern. I really hope that our good personal relationship continues,'' club president Uli Hoeness said.
Nerlinger hoped for ''all the best for Bayern in the future. I had a good and very intensive time here and will remain on friendly terms with the club.''
Nerlinger's contract with Bayern was extended to June 2014 in November.
But Bayern finished runner-up in the league and lost the cup final to Borussia Dortmund, while it also lost the Champions League final, in Munich, to Chelsea.
Sammer, who won the European Championship with Germany in 1996, helped lead Dortmund to the 1997 Champions League title and in 2002 he coached the club to the Bundesliga title.
Former Bayern and Germany great Franz Beckenbauer tweeted his approval of Sammer's signing as ''very positive. Bayern could do with some fresh air especially after the last setbacks.''
The 44-year-old Sammer oversaw Germany's youth football and the training of the country's coaches in his role with the DFB.
''He did a lot for the development of talent in Germany with his talent and expertise, and he really benefited the federation with his way,'' Niersbach said.
''All the same, we respect his wish (to leave) and do not want to stand in the way of his plans. The close connection between us will also remain.''