Bayern deny reports that Kovac to be sacked

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac with Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng during the Bundesliga match SC Freiburg v Bayern Munich in Schwarzwald-Stadion, Freiburg, Germany, March 30, 2019. — Reuters pic
Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac with Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng during the Bundesliga match SC Freiburg v Bayern Munich in Schwarzwald-Stadion, Freiburg, Germany, March 30, 2019. — Reuters pic

BERLIN, May 17 — Bayern Munich denied reports today that coach Niko Kovac is to be sacked regardless of whether he wins the Bundesliga title, and that Mark van Bommel is being lined up as his successor.

Despite being on course to win a league and cup double in the next week, Kovac has been under growing pressure amid widespread speculation that he will not be in charge next season.

This morning, websites Spox.com and Goal.com claimed to have “exclusive information” that Kovac would be sacked regardless of whether he won the title tomorrow and the German Cup final seven days later. 

“Kovac isn’t just lacking the unconditional trust of the club hierarchy, he also has most of the dressing room against him,” wrote Spox. 

Yet Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who is considered one of Kovac’s biggest boardroom critics, denied the reports.

“There is no decision (to sack Kovac), this report is completely made up,” he told Bild newspaper. 

The Spox and Goal report went on to claim that former Bayern captain van Bommel was favourite to replace Kovac, and also listed Ajax coach Erik ten Hag and former Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui as potential candidates.

Speaking on ZDF last Saturday, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic denied that he had met with Lopetegui, and claimed that Kovac had his “full support”.

Yet when asked directly, he also declined to confirm whether Kovac would be in a job next season. — AFP