Heynckes came back for his rescue act after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked, but Heynckes had only agreed to come back for the remainder of the 2017/18 season and was sure he would go back into retirement afterwards. Before landing on Niko Kovac to get the managerial nod at Bayern, there were a handful of names touted to get the job, and former SC Freiburg president Fritz Keller recently revealed in Sport Bild (via Sport1), that he had spoken with Uli Hoeneß about Christian Streich at the time.
“I talked to Uli Hoeneß about him,” Keller had revealed about the period in time Bayern was in a search for a new manager. Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, and even Thomas Tuchel were some of the names connected with the job, but Bayern’s front office was really keen on hiring a German-speaking manager that at least somewhat of a reputable pedigree in both domestic and European football.
Kovac certainly didn’t have as much experience as some of the other candidates linked with the job, but Hoeneß highly rated Streich, who’s been managing SC Freiburg’s senior team since 2011. He was also too highly valued at Freiburg for them to seriously consider letting him go, as Keller had said he praised him “over the green clover.”
Streich’s dense Bundesliga experience perhaps compensates for his lack of experience in European competition, but for a club of Freiburg’s size and value, he’s had some notably impressive campaigns with them. This season, they currently occupy the third spot in the Bundesliga table and they’re the only remaining unbeaten team in the league ahead of the encounter against Bayern this weekend. It was no surprise to Keller that Hoeneß was considering Streich, even back in 2018, because he felt that, in Germany, everyone knew how good of a manager Streich is, even without the European experience. “Everyone who, like Christian Streich, does so much good deserves to be exposed to the truth. You shouldn’t think egotistically,” Keller said.
While Streich’s name might’ve been a serious topic of discussion amongst Hoeneß and the rest of Bayern’s front office inside the office walls at Sabener Straße, Keller said that between the two clubs, there wasn’t really much communication on the subject. “It was a loose preliminary talk. There was no request afterwards,” he explained.