Kovac to succeed Heynckes as Bayern Munich coach

Jo Caldwell
April 14, 2018

Bayern Munich have confirmed that Niko Kovac will be the man who replaces Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.

"We're very delighted we've secured the services of Niko Kovač as new FC Bayern head coach", said sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić.

Bayern did not reveal the cost of poaching Kovac, but both Bild and Sport Bild claimed that his departure before the end of his Frankfurt contract in 2019 would cost Bayern €2.2 million (US$2.7 million).

"The way Bayern have acted is disrespectful as we are still at a decisive stage of the season", Bobic stressed, adding the news about the Kovac deal was not leaked by Frankfurt.

Kovac's current assistant coach, and brother Robert Kovac will join Bayern as well.

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The 46-year-old Kovac, who spent most of his playing career as a central midfielder in Germany, was a Croatian worldwide and formerly guided the Croatian national team. The Reds are England's most successful team in the European Cup or Champions League, matching Bayern's five titles, but last appeared in the semifinals in 2008.

They are attempting to be the first club to win the competition in three consecutive seasons since Bayern won it a third time in 1976.

Last year, Ronaldo scored a second-leg hat-trick as Real edged out Bayern in a thrilling quarter-final after extra time. This season, he has led them to fifth in the Bundesliga.

Kovac is described as a team player, addressing the need to get along with the club's leaders.

Defending champions Real Madrid will face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League while Liverpool play Roma in a repeat of the 1984 final.

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However, the 26-year-old has actually improved since the exit of Ancelotti, putting in some fine performances for returning coach Jupp Heynckes.

Originally Bayern was said to be interested in Juergen Klopp (Liverpool) and German national coach Joachim Loew. Last season, Frankfurt came bottom of the Bundesliga's "fair play" league by some distance.

During Frankfurt's press conference ahead of their match against Bayern Leverkusen, Kovac said "it has nothing to do with Fredi [Bobic] or me that things were made public the way it happened".

The bosses and supporters at the Allianz Arena will also be expecting more than the physical, uncomfortable style of Eintracht Frankfurt.

Former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel had already turned down Bayern and is expected to be the next coach of Paris Saint-Germain.

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