Stuttgart have announced the departure of sporting director Michael Reschke, with former player Thomas Hitzlsperger taking over in the role.

Former Germany international Hitzlsperger played for the Bundesliga side between 2005 and 2010, with his return announced on Tuesday.

Stuttgart are battling relegation from the Bundesliga and Hitzlsperger hopes to make a positive impression on his arrival.

"Following the end of my playing career, I've spent the past two-and-a-half-years gaining management experience and making valuable contacts," he told the club's website.

"Now, in my new role as sporting director, I will be putting all my efforts into keeping VfB [Stuttgart] in the Bundesliga and ensuring this talented team has a successful future.

"I thank our president and the supervisory board for the faith they've placed in me and I'm very much looking forward to this great challenge."

President Wolfgang Dietrich added: "In Thomas we're gaining an expert who brings both football expertise from his own recent playing career as well as the necessary leadership qualities.

"He's shown both in recent years in various functions at VfB Stuttgart. I'm delighted that he immediately showed the willingness to take on the role of sporting director."

Stuttgart appointed Markus Weinzierl as head coach in October following the sacking of Tayfun Korkut after he oversaw a run of one win in seven league matches.