Solbakken to become new Cologne coach

BERLIN - Norwegian Stale Solbakken will become the new Cologne coach on July 1 replacing interim coach Volker Finke, the Bundesliga club said on Saturday.

The 43-year-old Solbakken, who previously coached FC Copenhagen and steered the Danish champions into the Champions League knockout stages in 2010, will be officially presented on Tuesday, Cologne said in a statement.

He has also won the Danish league title five times with Copenhagen since 2006, including in 2011.

"Cologne have agreed with Stale Solbakken and the Norwegian football federation for the transfer of the 43-year-old for next season. Solbakken will take over as head coach on July 1," added the statement.

Cologne narrowly avoided relegation after a fine run since the winter break under Frank Schaefer, who had taken over in October last year. But he turned down an offer to extend his contract for personal reasons and stepped down in late April.

The team beat Schalke 04 2-1 on Saturday to end the season in 10th place.