Bayern Munich confirm Niko Kovac as next coach, angering Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern Munich confirm Niko Kovac as next coach, angering Eintracht Frankfurt
From ESPN - April 13, 2018

Bayern Munich confirmed Niko Kovac as the club's next manager on Friday but drew sharp criticism from his current employers, Eintracht Frankfurt, for allegedly leaking the news a day earlier.

Kovac, a former Croatia midfielder and coach, played for Bayern between 2001 and 2003, winning the Club World Cup in 2001 and a domestic league and cup double in 2003. He will take over in July for interim coach Jupp Heynckes, who plans to retire at the end of the season.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed Kovac had signed a three-year contract, after the club triggered a reported 2.2 million release clause in the 46-year-old'sEintracht Frankfurt deal.

But the official announcement came one day after multiple reports in Germany had already broken the news, and Eintracht sporting director Fredi Bobic hit out at Bayern for a lack of professionalism.

"[Kovac's decision] surprised us, period, which is extremely important for Frankfurt," Bobic said. "We are going into many important games. The timing is not good.

"Information was stuck through to the media, and certainly not from Frankfurt. That's annoying, unprofessional and without any respect."

With only five matches left, Frankfurt only trail fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen -- their opponents on Saturday -- by two points for the final Champions League qualification spot. In addition, they travel to Schalke in the German cup, and would go up against Bayern in the final if both sides win their semifinals.

"There was no contact between the clubs," Bobic added. "But everything immediately was made public. Every detail. Those are things I have never experienced at Bundesliga level. It's got nothing to do with a togetherness. If you want to treat other clubs like that, go ahead.

"Yes, there was an option for Niko Kovac to get out of the contract if an absolute European top club came. It's annoying we must talk about this. That information also came exclusively from another big German city."

Kovac said he was only offered the job only on Thursday and then made his decision to accept it. He said that "it has nothing to do with Fredi or me that things were made public the way it happened."

In announcing Kovac's hiring earlier in the day,Salihamidzic said Bayern were "very happy that we could secure Niko Kovac's services."


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