Niko Kovac to switch Eintracht Frankfurt for Bayern Munich

by Jack Kitson / 13 April 2018, 15:50

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

Kovac, who will be assisted by brother Robert, will leave his position in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt in order to succeed Heynckes at the helm of the German giants after signing a three-year contract.

Back in October Heynckes returned to Bayern for a fourth spell following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti. The German has gone on to lead Bayern to a sixth successive Bundesliga title, while he has the chance to win the treble (again) with upcoming semi-finals against Bayer Leverkusen (German Cup) and Real Madrid (Champions League).

The likes of Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino were all linked with Bayern, but in the end it’s Kovac who has won the race to lead The FCB.

Kovac, who won the 2002/03 league and cup double as a Bayern player, was appointed Eintracht Frankfurt in March 2016. The club ended the campaign in 16th, and just avoided the dreaded drop after edging out 1.FC Nurnberg in a relegation play-off, while they then came 11th in his first full season.

The Eagles have since enjoyed a stunning transformation. With five league games remaining Kovac’s men are up in 5th and right in contention for a Champions League spot. On Saturday they have the chance to leapfrog 4th-placed Bayer Leverkusen (4th) when the teams lock horns at the BayArena in a crunch clash.

The Berlin born Croatian previously led the Croatian national team at the 2014 World Cup where they thrashed Cameroon 4-0, but suffered 3-1 defeats to hosts Brazil and then Mexico, meaning they bowed out at the group stage.

Kovac has also previously coached Red Bull Salzburg’s second side, before taking on the role as assistant of the first team under Ricardo Moniz.

Kovac is yet to lift any silverware as a manager, while at club level he only has two years experience under his belt. However, at current side Frankfurt the tactically astute 46-year-old has forged a reputation as one of the most sought-after coaches in Germany’s top-flight - see above video for a more in-depth look at Kovac’s Frankfurt - and reaction to the appointment has on the whole been very positive.

Bayern are next in action at home to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday as they go in search of their 24th win in 30 league games.

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