Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Kovac predestined for Bayern, says Heynckes

Kovac predestined for Bayern, says Heynckes

Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes believes that the club have made a "good choice" in appointing Eintracht Frankfurt's head coach, Niko Kovač, as his successor. "We are convinced he is the right coach for the future of Bayern".

Bayern clinched a sixth successive Bundesliga last weekend and were on Friday drawn against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Kicker magazine reported that Bayern would pay a fee of 2.2 million euros ($2.7 million) to trigger a release clause in Kovac's existing contract with Frankfurt.

The 46-year-old, who had a long playing career in the Bundesliga, was at Bayern from 2001-03.

The Frankfurt coach said his move would have "no influence" on the team's remaining games of the season.

Bayern have won four of the six previous last-four ties between the two clubs, starting with a 3-1 aggregate victory when the clubs first met in 1976.

'He told us that he had already decided.

The former Croatian international has been named as the successor to Jupp Heynckes
The former Croatian international has been named as the successor to Jupp Heynckes

"We deliberately didn't say anything about it yesterday because we found the comments of Fredi Bobic to be quite outrageous", he said. Champions League qualification is possible this season after another stellar campaign.

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

Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic blasted Bayern for not getting in touch beforehand, and for the timing of its announcement.

Reinvigorated in a deeper, more central role than he was asked to perform under Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu, James is unfazed by the prospect of another potential positional shift under Kovac next season. "The players must know each other and respect each other".

"I try to be an option for every coach, whether it's in midfield or further forward", James told bundesliga.com following Bayern's 5-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday.

"We were obviously surprised especially in this phase (of the season) we are in which is extremely important for us", Bobic said.

Kovac, like James, was a serial victor as a player.

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