December 1, 2017 / 5:54 AM / in a year

Soccer: Magath departs Chinese side Shandong Luneng

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath will not continue in his role as head coach of Shandong Luneng, the Chinese Super League club announced on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Former Fulham manager Felix Magath reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Stoke City at the Britannia stadium in Stoke, May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File photo

The German becomes the latest high-profile foreign manager to leave Chinese football with the announcement coming less than 24 hours after Shanghai SIPG confirmed Andre Villas-Boas was not renewing his contract with the big-spending club.

“The contract between Shandong Luneng Taishan Football Club and Mr Magath has expired and, after friendly discussions, the two sides have decided not to renew,” the club said in a statement issued on social media.

“Since taking office in June 2016, Mr Magath has further enhanced the team’s will, the quality of training and the athletic performance through his hard work.

“Mr Magath’s professional attitude and dedication won the club’s respect and made him a fan favourite.

“We sincerely thank him for his hard work and wish Mr Magath the best for the future.”

The 64-year-old Magath took over at the former champions from Brazilian Mano Menezes midway through the 2016 season with Shandong in danger of relegation.

The former Fulham and Wolfsburg coach, known for his strict disciplinary approach, turned the struggling team’s fortunes around, maintaining the club’s top flight status in his first season before taking them to sixth in the standings in 2017.

Magath, Villas-Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari, who won the league title with Guangzhou Evergrande, have all left their clubs since the end of the season.

Magath will be replaced as head coach by former China international midfielder Li Xiaopeng.

Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong; Editing by John O'Brien

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