The Bundesbank, the national central bank, is expected to pick a new head by the end of the week, according to the senior partner in the three-way coalition that is forming a new government.
The Social Democrats, the Greens and the Free Democrats have struck a deal that will see Social Democrat Olaf Scholz replace the conservative Angela Merkel as chancellor after 16 years.
On December 31, the German bank president Jens Weidmann steps down, five years before the end of his second term, after 10 years of largely fruitless opposition to the European Central Bank's easy-money policies.
Below is a list of potential candidates to take over from him:
Schnabel is a member of the European Central Bank Executive Board, which would make a switch to the Bundesbank unprecedented.
In her first two years as a board member of the European Central Bank, Schnabel broke the mould of German opposition to bond purchases and negative interest rates, and has defended the ECB from critics in her native country.
She has recently hit a hawkish note by saying that inflation might turn out to be higher than the ECB currently expects.
Nagel is a Social Democrat who worked at the Bundesbank for 17 years, rising through the ranks to become a board member before stepping down in 2016.
He was responsible for markets and information technology at the German central bank and would not routinely comment on monetary policy.
He is currently the deputy head of the Bank for International Settlements, a bank he joined in 2020 after a four-year spell at German state bank KfW.
The professor of Princeton is one of the most international candidates on the list, having done most of his research and teaching in Britain and the United States.
He co-authored scholarly papers with the ECB's chief economist Philip Lane, including one that championed the creation of a synthetic safe asset for the euro zone and received a cold reception from the Bundesbank.
In a book, The Euro and the Battle of Ideas in 2017, co-authors said the core problem was in a conflict between Germany's focus on rules and France's preference for flexibility and called for the creation of a fully fledged banking union.
Under Scholz, Weizsaecker was the chief economist at the German Ministry of Finance.
He was a member of the European Parliament for the Social Democrats between 2014 and 2019 and was a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
He is a pro-European who is well-regarded by the German centre-right, a prominent member of an aristocratic family.
Kukies has been Scholz's right-hand man as Germany's deputy finance minister.
He has a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago and worked for Goldman Sachs for 17 years before joining the government in 2018.
He was criticised for his role in the Wirecard, https://www.reuters.com. The article us-germany wirecard-inquiry-inquiry-IDUSKBN 2 B 811 A scandal, in which Scholz wrote a nine-sided memo in which he played down concerns about the payment company, and outlined a plan to rescue it with funds from state bank KfW.
The dovish candidate on the list is Fratzscher, who backed the ECB's ultra-loose monetary policy and called for more fiscal spending in Germany.
He told Handelsblatt that the current inflation rate is nothing to worry about and that the ECB should not raise rates in response.
A former European Central Bank economist, he teaches macroeconomics and finance at Berlin's Humboldt University and runs the think-tank DIW Berlin.
Buch has been the vice-president of the Bundesbank since 2014 after a two-year stint on the German Council of Economic Experts.
The 55-year old university professor accompanies Weidmann to meetings of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank.
She largely stayed out of the monetary policy debate in public and focused instead on issues relating to financial stability.
After a five-year stint as the General Secretary of the German Council of Economic Experts, the chief economist of the Bundesbank has worked for the German central bank since 2005.
The 52 year-old economist is active on Twitter but has not expressed views on monetary policy in public, mainly explaining the ECB's decisions and commenting on the economic outlook.