(WFI) With or without the next Champions League trophy, Bayern Munich will have a new coach.
Niko Kovac has agreed to take over at the German champions after proving in the Bundesliga that he can produce near miracles with his current modest club.
Kovac will replace in Munich Jupp Heynckes, 72, who last October came out of retirement to take charge at Bayern after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked. Heynckes has repeated for weeks he would not continue at Bayern beyond the end of the season despite the club’s numerous attempts to convince him otherwise.
Kovac’s appointment signals a clear turn for Bayern. The German champions had previously worked under reputed coaches including Champions League winners Pep Guardiola, Louis Van Gaal and Ancelotti.
Now the Bavarians have opted for a coach with little international experience but exceptional popularity in Germany. Kovac saved Eintracht Frankfurt from relegation in 2016 after taking over at the club three months before the end of that season. The following season the Croat coach led Eintracht to the German Cup final.
Currently for Kovac and Frankfurt, a Champions League qualification for next campaign is possible after another stellar year. Frankfurt has also next week a German Cup semifinal match against Schalke 04.
According to the German press, Kovac agreed to his three-year deal with Bayern two weeks ago. However Kicker magazine reports the new Bavarian coach informed Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobi of his new coaching job on Thursday.
The 46-year-old, who had a long playing career in the Bundesliga, was a midfielder at Bayern between 2001-03. Kovac, who won 83 caps for Croatia, was born in Berlin. After retiring Kovac was briefly an assistant coach in Austria and took over Croatia before signing with Eintracht in 2016.
“Niko knows the people in charge as well as the structure and the club’s DNA. We are convinced he is the right coach for the future of Bayern.” said Bayern’s Sports Director, Hasan Salihamidzic.
Kovac has worked with a very tight budget at Frankfurt and has an attacking style of football with a 3-5-2 formation. The German tabloid Bild says Kovac will include his brother Robert as assistant coach.
By INSIDER Javier Monne
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