Bayern Munich have confirmed that Niko Kovac has been hired as the club's new first-team coach and will arrive at the end of the season. The 46-year-old, who is currently in charge of fellow Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, has penned a three-year deal at the Allianz Arena.
"We're delighted that we have secured the services of Niko as the new Bayern head coach," sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said. "Niko played for the club, he knows the people in charge, the structure and DNA of this club. "We're convinced that he's the right coach for the future of Bayern."
Born in Berlin to Croatian parents, Kovac fulfils one of the prime characteristics that the Bundesliga champions wanted from their new coach, which was an ability to speak German fluently.
Kovac represented Bayern between 2001 and 2003 during his playing days, before entering the top flight as a coach in 2016 with Frankfurt after taking charge of Croatia's national side.
Since taking over there, he has helped the club survive in the Bundesliga and has also led them to a domestic cup final. This season they could still secure Champions League qualification and, should they win their DFB Pokal semi-final against Schalke, in one of life's great coincidences they could meet Kovac's future employers in the cup final to end the season.
Current coach Jupp Heynckes has made no secret of the fact that he had no intention of remaining in charge before the end of the current campaign.