The likelihood that Steffen Baumgart will assume the head-coaching reins at a top-tier Bundesliga side increases after the highly respected 49-year-old gaffer announced his departure from SC Paderborn 07 this morning.
An eminently qualified trainer who enjoys a cult status of sorts in German footballing circles is now on the market. Steffen Baumgart and second-tier side SC Paderborn 07 officially announced that they will be parting company after four seasons on Thursday morning. The former Hansa Rostock and 1. FC Union Berlin striker led the East Westphalians from the third division in 2017 all the way up to the top flight last year.
Baumgart's future found itself subject to widespread speculation after Paderborn was relegated back to Bundesliga Two following the 2019/20 campaign and several top flight sides, such as Schalke, Dortmund, and Gladbach, were all rumored to be considering seeking his services. Baumgart and SC sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth put an end to conjectures about his future in NRW with joint statements.
"I have had and still have an incredibly exciting time in Paderborn," Baumgart wrote in his release, "We were able to achieve remarkable successes together. In recent weeks, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for a change."
"Steffen Baumgart has built himself a sporting monument here at Paderborrn," Wohlgemuth added in his own statement, "We respect his decision, which comes at the end of a long and serious consideration process and now provides clarity for both sides."
The club reportedly made serious efforts to renew the trainer's expiring contract, even going beyond its financial ceiling to offer him a new deal. At the end of the day, however, it appeared as if the 49-year-old simply felt himself ready to accept a new challenge.
Local newspapers Kölner Express and Kölner Stadt-Anzeige now report that Baumgaurt is a hot topic in the cathedral city. Given his status as a fan favorite, one assumes he must be on Borussia Mönchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl's radar as well.