After a slow start in the current Bundesliga season, Bayern Munich fired manager Niko Kovac, the German club announced last November 4th.
“The performance of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown that there was a need for action,” Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement, quoted in the report of CNN.
Bayern Munich under Kovac started the Bundesliga season winning five of their first 10 games with their 5-1 loss against Eintracht Frankfurt was the last time Kovac coached the team, the day before the club announced his firing.
“I had an open and serious conversation with Niko on this basis on Sunday, with the consensual result that Niko is no longer coach of Bayern,” Rummenigge added.
Kovac, whose contract with the club was valid until June 2021 led Bayern Munich to 2018-2019 Bundesliga, DFB Pokal or German Football Association and German Super Cup titles in his short stint with Bayern Munich.
Before joining Bayern Munich, he coached Eintracht Frankfurt during the 2017-2018 season, which he guided the club to win the DFB Pokal title. He also coached the U-21 and seniors teams of Croatia prior to his appointment in Eintracht Frankfurt.
One potential candidate to replace Kovac at Bayern Munich is former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with the club confirmed, they had talks with Wenger but the veteran coach decided to pursue other options.
“Arsene Wenger called Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Wednesday afternoon and signaled his fundamental interest in the position at Bayern. FC Bayern highly value Arsene Wenger’s work at Arsenal, but he is not an option to become head coach at FC Bayern,” the club said in the statement sent to German news outfit Blib that was quoted in an ESPN article.
ESPN added to their report that Wenger doesn’t want short term contracts, which Bayern Munich is pursuing Wenger to take over the club for the rest of the season only.
“I’d never refuse to talk to Bayern Munich, because I know the people who have led the club for 30 years and I was nearly going to Bayern a long, long time ago. That’s all I can say,” Wenger said via BeIn Sports, quoted in the same ESPN article.
After the Wenger talks collapsed, ESPN added, the other candidates for the Bayern Munich are Paris Saint- Germain coach Thomas Tuchel, Ajax coach Erik ten Hag and former RB Leipzig manager Ralf Ragnick.
The name of former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso, who is currently coaching Real Sociedad B was also in the mix, especially Alonso played for Bayern Munich in the latter part of his career before retiring in 2017.
Also in the running is former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri but the Italian mentor is currently on sabbatical from managing a club for this season.
“I won’t talk about any names.” Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic quoted in the same ESPN article about the candidates for Bayern Munich coach.
Hansi Flick will be serving as Bayern Munich coach for the meantime with the club continues to search for the new coach that will take over on a permanent basis.
Flick in his first match in charge, guided Bayern Munich in a 2-0 victory over Greek club Olympiacos during the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League Group Stages last November 6th with Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic scored for the German club during the 69th and 89th minute respectively.