Flick could be next Bayern Munich head coach, says Hoeness

Bayern Munich interim coach Hansi Flick gestures to his team during the match against Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena November 9, 2019. — Reuters pic
Bayern Munich interim coach Hansi Flick gestures to his team during the match against Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena November 9, 2019. — Reuters pic

MUNICH, Nov 11 — Out-going Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness said yesterday that interim coach Hansi Flick could be named permanent boss and revealed Niko Kovac was fired because some of their stars wanted him out.

Kovac, 48, was dismissed by Bayern last Sunday in the wake of an embarrassing 5-1 thrashing at Eintracht Frankfurt, their worst Bundesliga defeat in 10 years.

Interim boss Flick, 54, who was assistant coach when Germany won the 2014 World Cup, oversaw their 2-0 home win over Olympiakos in midweek and Saturday’s 4-0 league thrashing of Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.

Hoeness is stepping down as club president on Friday, but says Flick should now be made head coach permanently.

“The board should first be dealing with Hansi Flick. And I’ve heard that they want to do that in the next few days,” said Hoeness, a phone-in guest yesterday on a football talk show by broadcaster Sport1.

Flick is set to remain in charge past the November 23 deadline — Bayern’s next league game — which Hoeness set last week as a date to announce a new head coach.

Hoeness said Kovac’s replacement will be decided by club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and Herbert Hainer, who is set to be voted in as new Bayern president at Friday’s annual general meeting.

He added that ex-Germany captain Oliver Kahn, who is being groomed to replace Rummenigge, could also play a role.

With two wins under Flick, Bayern have time during the international window, “which we need to get a clear idea what we want”, said Hoeness, adding the goal must be a “long-term solution”.

“Until such a solution comes, I am of the opinion that Hansi Flick is not a bad choice.”

Hoeness told broadcaster ZDF that the Kovac had lost the backing of his dressing room.

“There were certainly elements within the team that wanted the coach gone,” revealed Hoeness without naming names, although forward Thomas Mueller had said he was unhappy to be repeatedly benched by Kovac.

“That’s why the club leaders reacted accordingly.”

Hoeness said “absolutely no decision has been made” yet as to who will replace Kovac.

So far, Ajax coach Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint Germain’s German coach Thomas Tuchel have both said they will not leave their respective clubs to join Bayern this season. 

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has also criticised Bayern’s lack of discretion for putting out a statement saying they turned him down.

The 70-year-old Frenchman insists he spoke to Rummenigge by phone and only expressed interest in the job in a brief conversation when the pair agreed to speak again next week.

“I think we both misunderstood and I am sorry for that,” Rummenigge told reporters Saturday, adding he will phone Wenger in the coming days to “clear this thing up”. — AFP

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