Rangnick quits for health reasons
Schalke today announced that coach Ralf Rangnick had stepped down for health reasons.
The 53-year-old, who took over at the end of March, said he needed a break from the rigours of coaching the Bundesliga club.
In a statement on the club's website, he said: "After long and careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that I need a break.
"Making the decision has been terribly difficult but my current energy levels are not enough to succeed and to push the club forward. This decision has been made in the best interests of the team and I wish them well for the rest of the season."
Rangnick departs after a successful second stint at the Gelsenkirchen club. He guided them to a surprise semi-final place in last season's UEFA Champions League - where they were beaten by Manchester United - and to the DFB Pokal title.
Schalke manager Horst Heldt backed his decision to put his health first. "The decision by Ralf Rangnick should be held in the highest esteem," said Heldt.
"We are also of the belief that health should always take precedence over all professional goals and challenges."
Assistant Seppo Eichkorn has been placed in interim charge and will lead the team for this weekend's game with Freiburg.
Replacement must be right man
Schalke president Clemens Tonnies is adamant the search for a replacement should not have a timescale as it is more important to get the right man, irrespective of how long it takes.
"We have a board meeting today anyway and the coaching position will of course now be number one on the agenda," said Tonnies. "But we have got to find the best solution, and not necessarily the quickest."