Bayern Munich confirm Niko Kovac as new manager as of July

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are in talks over securing extended stays in Bavaria

Eintracht Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac will become the new Bayern Munich manager. Photograph: Reuters

Eintracht Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac will become the new Bayern Munich manager. Photograph: Reuters

 

Bayern Munich have confirmed that Niko Kovac will take over as the club’s new manager in July.

The 46-year-old former Croatia midfielder will succeed Jupp Heynckes, who was appointed to replace Carlo Ancelotti on an interim basis in September.

“Niko Kovac will be the new coach of FC Bayern from July 1st, 2018,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. “We agreed on a three-year contract yesterday. Niko was a Bayern player, he 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.”

The 46-year-old, who had a long playing career in the Bundesliga, was at Bayern between 2001-03. Kovac, who won 83 caps for Croatia but was born in Berlin, has been in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt since 2016.

The decision in favour of Kovac marks a turn for success-driven Bayern, who had previously opted for big-name coaches including Champions League winners Heynckes, Louis van Gaal and Pep Guardiola.

After retiring Kovac was briefly an assistant coach in Austria and took over Croatia before signing with relegation-threatened Eintracht in 2016 and turning them into Champions League contenders this season.

His brother Robert, also a former Bayern player, will join him from Frankfurt as his assistant.

Meanwhile, Bayern have also confirmed that wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are in talks over securing extended stays in Bavaria after discussions on Thursday. “We will have news in the next days,” Salihamidzic said.

Guardian services

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