Bayern Munich have confirmed that the current Eintracht Frankfurt coach is to replace Jupp Heynckes, who is to retire at the end of the current campaign. Niko Kovac has spent the past two seasons in Frankfurt.
The Bundesliga title holders announced via their Twitter account on Friday that the club had appointed Niko Kovac as their new coach, beginning next season.
"Niko Kovac will be the new coach of FC Bayern as of July 1, 2018. We have reached agreement on a three-year contract," sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said in the statement.
The statement posted on Bayern's home page added that Kovac was to bring his brother and assistant, Robert Kovac, with him to his new club.
"We are very pleased to have been able to acquire Niko Kovac as the new coach of Bayern Munich," Salihamidzic said. "Niko was a player at Bayern, he knows the people involved very well, as well as the structures and the DNA of the club. We are convinced that he is the right coach for the future of Bayern Munich.
Kovac has spent the past couple of seasons at Eintracht Frankfurt. Since rescuing them from drop in 2016 he has gradually improved the team to the point that they are challenging for Champions League qualification with four matches left in the current campaign. Kovac's contract at Frankfurt was to run through 2019, but reportedly includes an escape clause worth €2.2 million ($2.7 million), which made the move possible.
As a player he made 34 appearances for Bayern, scoring three goals between 2001 and 2003.
Bayern's statement on Friday came just hours after several German media outlets had reported that Kovac's move to the serial Bundesliga champions was a done deal.
Prior to moving to Frankfurt, Kovac cut his coaching teeth with the junior team at Red Bull Salzburg, before becoming the co-coach of the senior team. In 2013 he was named coach of the Croatian national team, leading it to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where the "Vatreni" failed to advance to the group stage.