Bayern Munich and Niko Kovac have parted ways after the club’s 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. The Croatian handed in his resignation on Sunday after holding talks with Bayern executives. Assistant coach Hansi Flick will serve as interim manager for the upcoming matches against Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern Munich and Niko Kovac Part Ways
The Writing Was on the Wall
Though the timing of today’s news is somewhat surprising, it is no shock that Niko Kovac’s time in Bavaria has come to an early end. In recent weeks, all signs have pointed to an early exit for Kovac from his role as Bayern manager. In fact, the Croatian has never been wholeheartedly supported by the Bayern faithful since his appointment as the club’s manager.
Reports in Germany suggest Bayern’s executives were prepared to allow Kovac to see out one more week as the team’s coach. Kovac, however, opted to resign in light of recent results. It is likely he knew his time at the club was up regardless of how his team played in the coming games.
With Kovac no longer at the club, Hansi Flick will lead Bayern Munich in their matches against Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund later this week.
Who Comes Next?
Parting ways with Niko Kovac is a step in the right direction for Bayern Munich. But that will not fix all of the club’s issues. Many questions remain as to how exactly the club will move forward. Most importantly, who will Die Roten bring in to replace the Croatian?
No single manager stands out as a perfect option for the Bavarians. Erik ten Hag may very well be their preferred choice, but it is unlikely he leaves Ajax in the middle of the season. Bayern will have to wait until January at the very least if they want to bring the Dutchman back to Munich.
Jose Mourinho has recently been touted as a possibility, but it is difficult to imagine him working well with Bayern’s executives. Furthermore, Mourinho is not exactly the type of coach to lead a team in transition into a new era. He could potentially offer short-term success, but he would only serve as a brief cover-up for Bayern’s more deeply-rooted issues.
The same could be said of former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Some see the Frenchman as a possible candidate, but it is unlikely Bayern are keen on hiring a man already 70-years-old.
Max Allegri, former Juventus manager, is another candidate. He is a big name with plenty of experience coaching one of Europe’s top clubs. He does not speak German, though, and could very well face the same fate as his compatriot Carlo Ancelotti.
Whoever does follow Kovac will have a tall task on his hands. Bayern Munich need someone capable of transitioning this club into a new era. Despite Kovac’s best efforts, he could not accomplish that task and paid the price.