Hannover hires Tayfun Korkut as coach

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HANNOVER, Germany (AP) -- Hannover appointed former Turkey international Tayfun Korkut as coach on Tuesday to replace the fired Mirko Slomka.

The 42-year-old Korkut signed a deal that lasts until June 30, 2016, the Bundesliga side said in a statement. He will be presented Wednesday, New Year's Day, before taking charge of the side's first training session after the winter break.

"This signing is a clear decision for the future of Hannover," sporting director Dirk Dufner said. "In Tayfun Korkut we decided for a young, top trained and highly motivated coach who convinced us with his personality and curriculum vitae."

Korkut played 42 times for Turkey, as well as for Stuttgarter Kickers, Real Sociedad, Espanyol, Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Genclerbirligi.

His coaching career began with Real Sociedad's under-19 team in 2007, before he trained Hoffenheim's under-17 team and then Stuttgart's under-19 team. He was signed as assistant to then Turkey coach Abdullah Avci in January 2012.

"We know we are making a bold decision, be we see great potential in the work together with Tayfun Korkut," Dufner said.

Korkut, who was born in Stuttgart, is the first head coach of Turkish origin in 50 years of the Bundesliga.

"A challenging but fascinating task lies ahead of us, one that I'm looking forward to very much," Korkut said.

Hannover fired Slomka on Friday after a disappointing first half to the season.

Slomka saved Hannover from relegation after taking over in January 2010 and then twice led the side into the Europa League. However, a 2-1 loss to Freiburg left Hannover in 13th place before the winter break, only four points clear of the relegation zone.

Slomka was the fourth Bundesliga coach to lose his job this season.