Marco Kurz is to save troubled Bundesliga club Hoffenheim from relegation as new coach, German news reports said on Tuesday.

The Bild paper, the website of Kicker magazine, Sky TV and others said that Kurz will receive a contract until 2014 and take over from caretaker Frank Kramer.

Hoffenheim are expected to make the official announcement later Tuesday or Wednesday, the reports said.

Hoffenheim lie third bottom in the danger zone with 12 points from 17 games. They sacked Markus Babbel after four straight defeats two weeks ago, but Hoffenheim also lost the last two games before the winter break under Kramer.

Kurz was last in charge at Kaiserslautern where he had to go in March. Hoffenheim start their preparations for the second half of the season on January 3.

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