Bayern Munich announce former player Niko Kovac as next head coach

Bayern Munich announce former player Niko Kovac as next head coach
Niko Kovac. Picture: Getty

Bayern Munich have announced their former player Niko Kovac will become the club's next head coach.

Croatian Kovac is currently boss of Eintracht Frankfurt but will leave that position at the end of the season.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: "Niko Kovac will be the new Bayern coach from July 1. We agreed a three-year contract (on Thursday)."

Salihamidzic told the club's website: "We are very lucky that we could get Niko Kovac as the next Bayern coach.

"Niko was a player at Bayern, he knows the people and the structure and the DNA of the club very well. We are convinced that he is the right coach for the future of Bayern."

Bayern have been led by interim boss Jupp Heynckes since October, following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. They clinched the Bundesliga title last Saturday with a 4-1 win against Augsburg.

Moments after announcing the appointment of Kovac, Bayern were drawn to face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.

Frankfurt delayed their pre-match press conference on Friday, knowing Kovac would be leaving the club.

Kovac had been due to speak at 1pm local time (12pm BST), ahead of Saturday's game against Bayer Leverkusen, but that was pushed back by two hours to allow sporting director Fredi Bobic to accompany him. The club said they would address Bayern's announcement.

The German football website Kicker said a fee of 2.2 million euros (£1.9million) would buy Kovac out of his Frankfurt contract, under a clause in the deal.

Frankfurt sit fifth in the Bundesliga table and 46-year-old Kovac has been in charge of the first team since March 2016.

He played for Bayern from 2001 to 2003, when he often featured in midfield alongside Salihamidzic.

His brother Robert Kovac was a Bayern player from 2001 to 2005 and has more recently worked as assistant boss at Frankfurt. Bayern said he too would join them this summer.

Niko Kovac was also head coach of Croatia from 2013 to 2015, with his team failing to go past the group stage at the 2014 World Cup.

Bayern could retain veteran wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery for Kovac's debut season in charge, with the club saying both have been made offers of one-year contracts. Their existing deals are due to expire this summer.

- PA

More in this Section

Davis misses penalty as Northern Ireland’s automatic qualification hopes endDavis misses penalty as Northern Ireland’s automatic qualification hopes end

Leinster boss Cullen salutes impact made by returning Ireland starsLeinster boss Cullen salutes impact made by returning Ireland stars

Johann Van Graan hails ‘vital’ late try as Munster conquer OspreysJohann Van Graan hails ‘vital’ late try as Munster conquer Ospreys

It’s the right time for Gomez to ‘clear his head’ – England boss SouthgateIt’s the right time for Gomez to ‘clear his head’ – England boss Southgate


Lifestyle

Kate Tempest’s Vicar Street show began with the mother of all selfie moments. The 33 year-old poet and rapper disapproves of mid-concert photography and instructed the audience to get their snap-happy impulses out of the way at the outset. What was to follow would, she promised, be intense. We should give ourselves to the here and now and leave our phones in our pockets.Kate Tempest dives deep and dark in Dublin gig

Des O'Sullivan examines the lots up for auction in Bray.A Week in Antiques: Dirty tricks and past political campaigns

Following South Africa’s deserved Rugby World Cup victory I felt it was about time that I featured some of their wines.Wine with Leslie Williams

All your food news.The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

More From The Irish Examiner