The German internet publication SPOX claims in an exclusive article that Bayern Munich has already decided to fire head coach Niko Kovac at the end of the season, even if he succeeds in winning a domestic double by clinching the Bundesliga championship against Eintracht Frankfurt and defeating RB Leipzig for the DFB-Pokal.
SPOX alleges that Bayern hope to replace Kovac with former player Mark van Bommel (42), who currently coachs PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie. Under van Bommel, Eindhoven has finished second, a mere three points (83) beyond youthful world-beaters Ajax Amsterdam (86) and a whopping 18 ahead of third (Feyenoord — 65).
The reasons for Kovac’s theoretical firing are familiar. SPOX claims that Kovac “now has a majority of the locker room against him.” Even Joshua Kimmich, they state, “allegedly has also recently expressed skepticism internally,” although he has long backed Kovac publicly. The players supposedly feel that Kovac’s training sessions are too monotonous and lack “tactical finesse.”
Unnamed “insiders” told SPOX that the ongoing discussions about replacing Kovac in the decisive phase of the season are “behavior detrimental to the club.” Although “Bayern DNA” dictates subordinating everything to success, the source claims, “At the moment, the opposite is the case. The coach is being weakened since a few weeks ago. In the present situation, you actually should have to back him.”
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bild deny the claims
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, meanwhile, has denied the story completely. The chairman told Bild, “That is a total canard.” Bild adds, however, that according to their own information, the club has “not yet” made a decision. They state,
According to Bild and Sport Bild’s information, the decision whether to dismiss the coach has not yet been made. Van Bommel’s development is being observed by Bayern, but there has not yet been any contact, let alone actual talks.
That is rather less than a complete denial. SPOX’s editor-in-chief, Martin Volkmar, told Bild, “We stand by our story.”