Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus is to become the new coach of Yugoslav champions Partizan Belgrade.

“We have signed an 18-month contract with Lothar Matthaus, with an option to extend it for another 12 months if Partizan qualify for the European Champions League,”

Partizan managing director Nenad Bjekovic said.German newspaper reports suggested that Partizan had offered Matthaus œ500,000 and free flights home to Munich to coach the club for the next 18 months.

Matthaus, Europe’s most capped player with 150 internationals to his name, succeeds Ljubisa Tumbakovic, who resigned last week after 10 seasons in charge.

Matthaeus, was fired as coach of Austria’s Rapid Vienna last May after a disappointing campaign.