3 managers who could replace Niko Kovac at Bayern Munich
Niko Kovac paid the price for Bayern Munich's humbling 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt with his job. The Croat was sacked following the dismal result, which left Bayern fourth in the Bundesliga, four points off the top. This comes despite Kovac leading the Bavarians to the domestic double last year and his Bayern side currently sitting on top of their UEFA Champions League group, following a stunning 2-7 win away against Tottenham.
Things have not been good domestically this season though. A Bayern side that is typically used to running away with the league, now finds itself in an unfamiliar spot, afew rungs from the top. This, accompanied by a rather worrying trend of poor defending, has led to Kovac's dismissal. 10 games in and Bayern has already conceded 16 times, a tally not matched until you reach teams at the other end of the table. Not until you reach Hertha Berlin in 11th, do you find a team that has conceded more. Even newly-promoted side Union Berlin have conceded less, with 15.
Having won the past seven Bundesliga titles in a row, the UEFA Champions League has been the Bavarian's main priority of late. Kovac's failure to progress past the round-of-16 last season may have also contributed to his downfall, although it is worth noting that they did exit to eventual winners Liverpool.
In light of his departure, we take a look at three managers who could replace Kovac at The Allianz Arena.
#3: Julian Nagelsmann
A man who has long been linked with the Bavarians, it seems to be a matter of when and not if the German takes the reins at the Allianz Arena. He's also made no secret of the fact he would be interested in managing Bayern in the past. Nagelsmann told Bild:
"This [Bayern Munich] is a nice club. Of course I can imagine that someday I will be a coach there."
Julian Nagelsmann has been highly sought after since breaking into the scene in 2015, when he became the youngest manager in Bundesliga history, taking over Hoffenheim at the age of 28. He made an instant impact, taking a club that sat 17th, seven points from safety, on a run that saw them win seven of their remaining 14 games. They finished a point above the relegation playoff spot, ensuring their survival in the German top flight.
His second season brought further success, despite being in a relegation battle when he took over the previous season, Nagelsmann managed to guide them to fourth and a UEFA Champions League spot for the first time in the club's history.
The following season he became the youngest Bundesliga manager to reach 100 games in what was his final one at Hoffenheim, as he would join RB Leipzig the following season.
With such a vast level of Bundesliga experience, his appeal to Bayern is obvious. He also suits their philosophy of developing young German players. Bayern's current German star, Serge Gnabry had great success under Nagelsmann. Their time together at Hoffenheim was crucial to Gnabry's development and subsequent move to Bayern.