Mainz coach Tuchel is leaving the club by his own choice

Thomas Tuchel is leaving Mainz after leading to club to seventh in the Bundesliga.

MAINZ, Germany (AP) Coach Thomas Tuchel is leaving Mainz by his own choice after leading the Bundesliga club to a possible place in the Europa League.

Mainz finished the season on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Hamburger SV to finish seventh and clinch a place in Europa League qualifying.

Managing director Christian Heidel said on Sunday that Mainz will not allow Tuchel to move to another club since he still has a year on his contract.

The club will not rescind the contract although Tuchel will not coach the team, Heidel told a news conference.

”We will find a solution … You will never hear me say anything against Tuchel,” Heidel said, underlining his respect for the outgoing coach.

Tuchel has been at Mainz for five seasons and is one of Germany’s most highly regarded young coaches. The 40-year-old coach has been linked with several Bundesliga clubs.

SNAPSHOTS IN TIME

Heidel confirmed that Tuchel has had contacts with Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen.

Tuchel first told Mainz in January that he wanted to quit at the end of the season and repeated his wish four weeks ago, Heidel said.

Heidel said Mainz was beginning to look for another coach but declined to give any names. With limited financial means but clever management, Mainz has become a Bundesliga success story.

Tuchel has not given any reason for leaving the club. He is the second coach to leave at the end of the season. Huub Stevens, who saved Stuttgart from relegation, said on Saturday that he would not return.