The Top Candidates to Replace Niko Kovac at Bayern Munich

Niko Kovac is out as Bayern Munich manager, so who could step into the void at one of the world's top clubs?
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Bayern Munich's disappointing run of form reached its climax on Saturday as the defending Bundesliga champions were thumped 5-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt. After the defeat, manager Niko Kovac was relieved of his duties.

With no immediate replacement prepared, Bayern has now begun looking for a new full-time boss, and there are a number of candidates who have already been linked with the position.

Take a look at seven of the managers in the running for the vacant position:

Massimiliano Allegri

In terms of high-profile managers who are currently without a job, they don't come much bigger than former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri.

According to Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Bild), Bayern has made Allegri its top target, and that would certainly make sense. Having won five consecutive Serie A titles, he is the kind of serial winner which Bayern is used to having.

Given he is without a club, Allegri could be hired immediately, and Bayern will certainly like the sound of that.

José Mourinho

One man who can rival Allegri's reputation is former Chelsea and Manchester United boss José Mourinho, who is looking to get back into work after leaving Old Trafford in late 2018.

Given his immediate availability, Mourinho has emerged as another potential candidate, and Bayern legend Bastian Schweinsteiger told Deutsche Welle than Mourinho would be a good fit in Germany.

"I can imagine Mourinho in Germany," he said. "I remember he was always asking me about Bayern and the Bundesliga. During our away games, there was always Bundesliga on TV. He really knew every single player, even from the smaller teams. He was also learning German."

Ralf Rangnick

Should Bayern prefer somebody with Bundesliga experience, it could turn to Red Bull guru Ralf Rangnick. The German, who is currently Red Bull's head of sport and development, has spent time as manager of both RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim.

The Guardian claims that Rangnick has worked his way onto Bayern's radar. The club is said to have been impressed with his commitment to player development, and his knowledge of the league works in his advantage.

Manchester United is also thought to be keeping a close eye on Rangnick, so Bayern may have to act soon if it wants to get him.

Erik ten Hag

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has blossomed into perhaps the most in-demand manager around after his tactical genius helped steer Ajax to the Champions League semifinals last season.

Sky Deutschland states that Bayern has already reached out to Ten Hag about the vacant managerial position, as he is viewed as the perfect long-term solution. However, the problem is that Ajax won't let him go midway through the season.

If Bayern really wants Ten Hag, it could simply hire an interim boss to get the club through to the end of the season, when a move for the Dutchman could be more plausible.

Mauricio Pochettino

So far, reports state that both Allegri and Ten Hag are Bayern's top candidate, but there's a third that says that Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino is lined up, as well.

That's according to Sport1, which claims that Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic is a huge fan of Pochettino, and the pair have actually been in contact in the past. Pochettino's position with Spurs is under real threat, so the stars could certainly align for this one.

Regardless of whether he actually is the preferred candidate, Pochettino has impressed with his ability to develop youth and work on a relatively small budget, and Bayern could offer him a lifeline away from Spurs.

Arsène Wenger

This latest rough patch was not Kovac's first in charge of Bayern, as his position actually came under threat in November 2018 after a string of unconvincing results.

Back then, Bild (via Sport Witness) claimed that former Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger was being considered for the role because of his experience dealing with both youngsters and world-class stars.

With the iconic Frenchman still available, Bayern could look to reignite its interest in Wenger now that Kovac is gone.

Julian Nagelsmann

Few managers have made an impact in the Bundesliga quite like Julian Nagelsmann. The young boss made his name with Hoffenheim before switching to RB Leipzig in the summer. However, before taking that job, he admitted the Bayern job was of interest to him.

"This [Bayern] is a nice club. Of course I can imagine that someday I will be a coach there," Nagelsmann told Bild.

Given the team's love of poaching the Bundesliga's finest young talents, a move for Nagelsmann would certainly be on-brand for Bayern. Leipzig would certainly not want to lose him, but when was the last time that stopped Bayern?