Kovac to Succeed Heynckes at Bayern Next Season


Former Croatia international and current Eintracht Frankfurt manager Niko Kovac is set to succeed Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich at the end of this season. Kovac has guided Eintracht to a DFB Cup Final in 2016 and is in the semifinals of the Cup this season and has Die Adler challenging for a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Eintracht currently sit 5th, two points behind Bayer Leverkusen, but only six off second place Schalke with five matches to play. 

“Niko knows the people in charge as well as the structure and the club’s DNA,” said Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. “We are convinced he is the right coach for the future of Bayern.”

Kovac, 46, was born in Germany to Croatian parents and played for Bayern between 2001 and 2003 (albeit made only 34 appearances during that time). He also played for Hertha Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen, and Hamburg while in the Bundesliga. He had 83 caps for Croatia as a player and managed Croatia between 2013 and 2015 managing Croatia in the 2014 World Cup, but was sacked after a loss to Norway in 2015.
Heynckes came out of retirement and replaced Carlo Ancelotti on a caretaker basis in September after Bayern got off to a slow start. Heynckes then took Bayern to a sixth straight Bundesliga title and could well lead Bayern to another treble like he did in 2013. Bayern face Bayer Leverkusen in the Cup semifinal and Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinal.
THOUGHTS:  It’s a departure from the big names that have managed Bayern such as Pep Guardiola and Ancelotti. It’s also a departure in that Kovac has yet to accomplish anything as a manager other than righting ships like he did with Croatia and with Eintracht. He will come up against a notorious dressing room at Bayern and may be one that will have to replenish some talent this Summer. Will he be given time to right the ship if it starts to go adrift next season?

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