Reports: Bayern Munich to hire Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac


MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich appears to be on verge of hiring Eintracht Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac to take charge next season.

Kicker magazine reported that the German champions will pay 2.2 million euros ($2.7 million) to trigger a release clause in Kovac’s existing contract with Frankfurt.

The 46-year-old Croat has a contract through June 2019 with Frankfurt, but the release clause reportedly applies for Bayern and two foreign clubs.

Kovac would take over from Jupp Heynckes, who stepped out of retirement to take charge at Bayern last October but has long said he will not continue beyond the end of the season. Bayern’s attempts to convince the 72-year-old Heynckes otherwise were unsuccessful.

Kicker said Kovac informed Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic on Thursday of his intention to move, though his two-year deal with Bayern was struck two weeks ago.

Tabloids Bild and Sport Bild also reported that Bayern has settled on its former defensive midfielder as coach. Bild said Kovac is to bring his brother Robert as assistant coach, while efforts were also made to keep Heynckes’ assistant, Peter Hermann, at the club.

Despite relative inexperience after a stint in charge of Croatia, Kovac saved Frankfurt from relegation after taking over in March 2016 and led it to the German Cup final the following season. Champions League qualification is possible this season after another stellar campaign. Frankfurt has a German Cup semifinal match against Schalke next week.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on March 31 that the club would likely announce Heynckes’ successor before the end of April.

Bayern was initially in talks with former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, but he informed the club that he had agreed to take over another team while it was still trying to convince Heynckes to stay.

Source: Fox Sports

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