Addressing multiple reports surfacing in the German and Turkish media on Tuesday, Germany U21 head-coach Stefan Kuntz announced that he had not yet decided whether to take on the Turkish national team job just yet.
When the Turkish national football team parted company with Senol Günes after the most recent international break, TFF executive Hamit Altintop began steps to take the country's football program in a radically different direction.
Günes, like colleague Fatih Terim, had been in charge of the Crescent Stars for multiple stints. The country's FA has hired some foreign trainers (Guus Hiddink and Mircea Lucescu) to run the team in recent years, but domestic figures have predominantly served as the head of the program since German Sepp Piontek ran the team in the early 1990s.
If most reports are to be believed, that is about to change. Hamit, a Bundesliga veteran alongside twin brother Halil, have apparently called in a favor to an old friend. Germany U21 head-coach Stefan Kuntz appears poised to make the jump to Turkey, just like he did late in his playing career.
Former 1. FC Kaiserslautern captain Kuntz played with Beskitas Istanbul for a year during the 1995/96 season. After returning to Germany to finish his professional days, Kuntz then coached the Karlsruher SC and worked as Kaiserslautern's sporting director before settling in with the DFB in 2016.
The 58-year-old Kuntz has made it known that he's reached the limits of his objectives working in the German national team system. He led the German U21s to both the 2017 and 2021 European Championship crowns. His 2019 team also reached the final.
Kuntz's name was floated for the vacant Bundestrainer position after Joachim Löw officially resigned last spring. After the German F.A. opted to go with Hansi Flick instead, Kuntz seemed to bemoan the task of coaching the country's Olympic team; a call-up virtually all German talent seemed disinterested in.
Kuntz confirmed that he had, at the invitation of the TFF, traveled to Istanbul for talks related to the team's vacant head-coaching position on to Germany's associated press on Tuesday evening. In an official statement relayed to the Deutsche Presse Agentur that only "initial talks" had taken place.
"At the invitation of the Turkish football federation, I was in Instanbul for initial talks," Kuntz said, "but there is no decision to announce yet."