Bayer Leverkusen has named Red Bull Salzburg boss Roger Schmidt as their new coach for next season after the Werkself sacked ex-Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia earlier this month. The 47-year-old Schmidt has signed a two-year contract with Leverkusen, who are fourth in the German Bundesliga and on course to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season, having steered Salzburg to this season's Austrian title.
Hyypia was dismissed in his first season in charge as head coach following a shock 2-1 defeat at Hamburg at the start of April which saw Leverkusen slip out of the top four. Schmidt will finish the season at Salzburg before taking over from caretaker coach Sacha Lewandowski, who will be in charge for Bayer's remaining three Bundesliga matches then return to his previous role as head coach of Leverkusen's junior team.
"We have opted for Roger Schmidt among many other possible alternatives as the new Bayer 04 coach," said managing director Michael Schade, after Eintracht Frankfurt failed in their bid for Schmidt's signature. "He likes fast, attractive attacking football and we hope for a long-term co-operation with Schmidt."
Having neither played for, nor coached a Bundesliga side, Schmidt has spent the last two years at Salzburg and will find himself coaching in European competition next season, either in the Champions or Europa League.
"I look forward to the new challenge at a top club and I am happy to be able to work in the Bundesliga," said Schmidt, who only made his coaching debut at second-division Paderborn in 2011/12 and will be introduced at a press conference on 1 July.