Schalke 04 coach Mirko Slomka has quit the Bundesliga side in the wake of their 5-1 defeat to Werder Bremen, the club said on Sunday.

Media reports on Saturday had said his days were numbered as, despite the club standing second in the table behind Bayern Munich, Slomka, 40, had been under intense pressure since Schalke lost three Bundesliga games in succession in February.

On Saturday they were humbled 5-1 by Werder Bremen, the defeat deepening a growing crisis of confidence. Slomka, who took over in 2006, was under contract until 2009.

Among top names to take over are Belgian Erik Gerets, currently in charge of Marseille, who has coached both VfL Wolfsburg and Kaiserlautern in the Bundesliga.

According to Bild, Schalke are also interested in Dutch coach Dick Advocaat and Fred Rutten.