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Former Croatia midfielder in line to become next Bayern Munich manager

Niko Kovac, currently in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt, is a highly-rated young coach.

Kovac has been with Frankfurt since 2016.
Kovac has been with Frankfurt since 2016.
Image: Alex Grimm

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT BOSS Niko Kovac will become the next coach of Bayern Munich in succession to Jupp Heynckes but the swoop will cost the Bundesliga champions more than two million euros, according to German media reports.

Both Bild and Sport Bild claim that former Bayern star Kovac, 46, will take charge from 72-year-old Heynckes in the summer while Kicker reported that his release clause from their Bundesliga rivals will cost €2.2 million.

Kovac, born in Berlin to Croatian parents, is under contract to Frankfurt until 2019.

A close friend of Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, Kovac is expected to have his brother Robert as his assistant at the Alianz Arena.

During his playing career, Kovac — a central midfielder — had spells in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Hertha Berlin and Red Bull Salzburg. He won 83 international caps for Croatia.

Heynckes replaced Carlo Ancelotti in October after the Italian was sacked following a series of poor results.

Since that time, Bayern have wrapped up the title and are also in the Champions League semi-finals.

Both Frankfurt and Bayern had last week denied that Kovac was on his way to Munich.

“There is no reason to doubt that I will be the coach of Frankfurt next season,” said Kovac, a former coach of the Croatia national team.

A host of top coaches have been linked with the Bayern job.

Most recently, Germany’s World Cup-winning head coach Joachim Loew ruled himself out, insisting he intended to honour his contract with the national team which runs until 2020.

Former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel had already turned down Bayern and is expected to be the next coach of Paris Saint-Germain.

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Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino, Lucien Favre, currently at Nice, and RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl were also linked.

© – AFP, 2018

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