Kovac’s Monaco arrival highlights ‘ambition’ for club

Monaco (AFP)

Monaco vice-president Oleg Petrov said on Tuesday appointing former Bayern Munich and Croatia boss Niko Kovac as the Ligue 1 club’s coach underlines their ambition.

Kovac was sacked by the German side last November after leading them to a domestic double in his first season in charge.

Niko Kovac played for Croatia as well as clubs such as Bayern Munich and Hamburg before becoming a coach
Niko Kovac played for Croatia as well as clubs such as Bayern Munich and Hamburg before becoming a coach YANN COATSALIOU AFP

Petrov dismissed former Spain coach Robert Moreno on Saturday after barely six months in charge before replacing him with Kovac.

“It’s a strong choice that shows our desire and ambition to do as much as possible to reach our goal: to make Monaco a successful club,” Petrov said.

“It’s a significant, assumed change aligned with the strategy of the squad. To re-inforce our ability, to sustainably build to reach our long-term objectives,” the Russian added.

Kovac, 48, arrives at the Stade Louis II on a three-year deal with an optional extra season alongside his brother Robert, Goran Lackovic, and conditioning coach Walter Gfrerer.

“It’s a small team but we know each other well,” Kovac said as he was presented to the media at a press conference.

Last month Petrov appointed former RB Leipzig head of recruitment Paul Mitchell as sporting director.

Mitchell was also technical director for the energy drink company’s stable of clubs including Kovac’s former side Red Bull Salzburg.

“Since my arrival we analysed and exchanged in objective and subjective ways. The decision was made to change. We quickly thought about Niko. We had never met but we had a lot of contact in common, in Germany, or at Red Bull,” Mitchell said.

Monaco finished ninth in the league after the campaign was declared over due to the coronavirus pandemic but won the title in 2017.

Kovac’s first game in charge is Wednesday’s pre-season friendly at Standard Liege before a week-long camp in Poland.

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