Ralf Rangnick believes Julian Nagelsmann's imminent arrival as head coach will further boost RB Leipzig's bid to join the Bundesliga's elite.
Rangnick guided Leipzig to promotion to the top flight in 2016 and then became sporting director as Ralph Hasenhuttl led the club to second and sixth-placed finishes.
Hoffenheim coach Nagelsmann was then appointed last year, but will not take charge until the end of this season, with Rangnick returning as coach for the interim.
Leipzig finished third under Rangnick in the final standings for 2018-19 - behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund - yet he expects they will make further strides when Nagelsmann comes in.
"We deliberately waited one year for Julian Nagelsmann," he told SPORT1 ahead of the DFB-Pokal final against Bayern.
"If we continue a good recruitment policy - getting the right players at the right time and not the wrong ones - because experience has shown how important this is - then we are confident, with Julian, that we can establish ourselves up there.
"The goal is to further narrow the gap to Dortmund and Bayern.
"I see [Nagelsmann] as a great coaching talent in all the relevant areas that a coach has to fulfil: leadership, dealing with the players and their tactical development, as well as his public appearance and perception."
As Rangnick reverts to a directorial role, one of his first tasks will be to settle the future of star striker Timo Werner, who is approaching the final year of his Leipzig contract.
Rangnick has expressed doubts that the Germany international is set to join Bayern Munich, though, and suggests even the player is unsure of his next move.
"I do not know and I would not be surprised if [Werner] does not know it himself," he said. "But our position is perfectly clear.
"Either he will extend his contract after all or, if he does not want that, he will move this summer - to a club he wants to and with whom we agree on a transfer fee.
"We certainly will not discuss [the fee] publicly. The facts speak for themselves: Timo has developed great with us, has become a national player and has scored between 15 and 20 goals each season."