Bayern Munich hires Niko Kovac from Frankfurt as coach

Frankfurt boss Kovac enjoyed a two-year spell at Bayern Munich during his playing career

Injured when Croatia finished third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, the Berlin-born 46-year-old went to win the double of Bundesliga and DFB Cup with Bayern in 2003, and James has little doubt about the coach's ability to swell both of their trophy cabinets.

This season, the German is still on for the treble having wrapped up the Bundesliga while also reaching the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal and Champions League, where they will face Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid respectively.

The club's resurgence has continued this term with Kovac's men fifth in the Bundesliga, just two points behind Bayer Leverkusen, who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.

"He has made a very good and positive impression on me".

The 31-year-old had played down links of taking over at Bayern, but refused to completely rule out leaving Hoffenheim.

"There is no reason to doubt that I will be the coach of Frankfurt next season", he said.

Widespread reports in Germany over the past couple of days had suggested the former Bayern defensive midfielder had won the race to succeed Jupp Heynckes, but Eintracht Franfurt board member Fredi Bobic said on Thursday the coach's current club were unaware of any deal.

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Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic blasted Bayern for not getting in touch beforehand, and for the timing of its announcement.

His brother Robert, also a former Bayern player, will join him from Frankfurt as his assistant.

When the Croatian took over in March 2016, the Eagles were fighting relegation and, despite a slow start, Kovac was able to steer Frankfurt to safety - via a relegation play-off victory.

"We are meeting the victor of the last two years", Rummenigge said. The top four teams qualify for next season's Champions League group stage.

The decision, however, in favour of Kovac marks a turn for success-driven Bayern, who had previously opted for big-name coaches including Champions League winners Heynckes, Louis van Gaal and Pep Guardiola. "Everyone respects the other", Frankfurt forward Kevin-Prince Boateng said earlier this season.

Bayern Munich came from behind to thrash Borussia Monchengladbach in their first Bundesliga game since wrapping up a sixth consecutive title.

Kovac is described as a team player, addressing the need to get along with the club's leaders.

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