Bayern Munich parts ways with Nico Kovac after Eintracht Frankfurt thrashing

A 5-1 Bundesliga loss away to his former club Eintracht Frankfurt proved to be Niko Kovac's last match in charge of Bayern Munich.

Niko Kovac's departure was announced on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Niko Kovac has departed Bayern Munich after a 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt left the champion fourth in the Bundesliga table.

Pressure has been growing on Kovac all season despite the Croatian leading Bayern to the Bundesliga title and a DFB-Pokal triumph in his first year in charge.

Saturday's trip to Frankfurt saw Bayern beaten 5-1 by Kovac's old club, which he led to DFB-Pokal glory in 2017-18 before moving to Bavaria.

Bayern failed to keep a clean sheet in any of Kovac's last eight games in all competitions and it needed a late comeback to win at second-tier side Bochum in the DFB-Pokal in midweek.

Despite Kovac leading Bayern to three wins out of three in the Champions League, the Bundesliga champion has now opted for a change of coach.

 

Former Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter boss Jose Mourinho has been linked with Bayern after the Portuguese revealed he is learning German.

Mauricio Pochettino, whose future at Tottenham has appeared uncertain since its Champions League final loss to Liverpool, has also been linked with Bayern.

Assistant coach Hans Flick will take charge of the first team as it prepares for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Olympiacos and the Klassiker showdown with Borussia Dortmund next Saturday.

"The performance of our team in recent weeks, and the results, have shown us there was need for action," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.

"[President] Uli Hoeness, [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious conversation with Niko on this basis on Sunday, with the consensual result that Niko is no longer the Bayern coach.

"We all regret this development. I'd like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, especially for winning the double last season."

 

Salihamidzic added: "I now expect a positive development from our players and the highest motivation to achieve our goals this season."

Kovac somewhat surprisingly said he felt his departure was for the best for Bayern.

"I think this is the right decision for the club at the moment," he said.

"The results, and also the way we played in the last game, made me come to that decision.

"My brother Robert and I thank Bayern for the past one and a half years. During this time, our team won the title, the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Supercup. It was a good time.

"I wish the club and the team all the best."

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