FRANKFURT, Germany (AP): Bayern Munich has fired coach Louis van Gaal with immediate effect, Kicker magazine and other German media reported Sunday.
Van Gaal was due to leave the club at the end of the season, one year early, but the Bayern board decided to fire the 59-year-old Dutchman with five games remaining, according to reports in online editions of Kicker and the Munich-based newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
The decision came after Bayern dropped from third place following Saturday's 1-1 draw in Nuremberg.
Third place is Bayern's minimum goal because it brings a place in qualifying for the Champions League. The club has virtually no chance of defending its Bundesliga title and is out of other competitions.
There was no immediate reaction from Bayern to the reports. Spokesman Markus Hoerwick said there were "talks" going on.
Van Gaal's assistant Andries Jonker will coach the team until the end of the season, Kicker said.
Bayern's next match is against Bayer Leverkusen, whose coach Jupp Heynckes will take over at Bayern next season. Leverkusen is second, six points ahead of Bayern, and still has title chances.
With a win in Munich, Heynckes' current club could deny his future team a place in the Champions League. Next season's Champions League final is in Munich and Bayern is keen to qualify for the competition.
Bayern swept the domestic double and reached the Champions League final in van Gaal's first season. But with Bayern out of the German Cup and the Champions League and faltering in the Bundesliga, the club's board decided one month ago to terminate van Gaal's contract one year early at the end of the season.
Bayern won its next three games after announcing van Gaal's departure but Saturday's draw, after an early 1-0 lead, left the club one point behind Hannover, which beat Mainz 2-0.