Ex-Bayern boss Kovac sacked by Monaco

Niko Kovac finished his playing career in 2009

Niko Kovac finished his playing career in 2009 Creator: Valery HACHE

French Ligue 1 side Monaco have sacked coach Niko Kovac, a source close to the club told AFP on Thursday.

Former Bayern Munich boss Kovac took over the under-performing French side from Robert Moreno in July 2020 on a three-year contract with the option of a further season.

Kovac, 50, was told of the decision by the club's board late on Thursday.

The Principality side finished third last season but were eliminated in the Champions League's qualifiers and are sixth in the French table, 17 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Kovac took Monaco to May's French Cup final, where they lost to PSG and they started this season with three defeats in their opening six league games.

They have yet to break into Ligue 1's top five this term and summer signings including Dutch striker Myron Boadu and German winger Ismail Jakobs have found it difficult to settle.

Big name arrivals such as Germany's Kevin Volland and ex-Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas have also been off-form.

There were reported tensions between former Croatia midfielder Kovac and squad members including captain Wissam Ben Yedder.

According to outlet RMC Sport the move by the club, owned by Russsian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, had been discussed for weeks with August's European knock-out by Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk still clear in the memory.

Kovac led Bundesliga giants Bayern to a league and cup double in 2019, having previously coached Eintracht Frankfurt and the Croatia national team.

Monaco last played in December 22's home victory over Rennes before French football's winter break and head to second-tier Quevilly-Rouen in the cup's last 32 on Sunday.

Newspaper L'Equipe claim ex-RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch, former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca and Belgian Philippe Clement are among the favourites to replace Kovac.

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