Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Ligue 1: Monaco dismiss Niko Kovac; Club Brugge’s Philippe Clement expected to beat out Jesse Marsch for job

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AS Monaco confirmed on Saturday that Niko Kovac has been dismissed from his role as coach with Club Brugge’s Philippe Clement expected to replace him shortly. American coach Jesse Marsch, formerly of the Red Bull group, was considered for the role.

Ex-Bayern Munich boss Kovac took over at Stade Louis II on a three-year deal after Robert Moreno’s brief tenure and Les Monegasques ended the 2020-21 season third despite a premature UEFA Champions League exit and a Coupe de France final loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

The German-born former Croatia international leaves Monaco sixth in the Ligue 1 table and 17 points behind leaders PSG after cracks started to appear between Kovac, players and staff in a campaign which already started in difficulty with an agonizing UCL playoff elimination.

“Monaco announce that the club has taken the decision to part ways with Niko Kovac,” read a brief statement. “The Croatian coach was informed on Thursday during a preliminary meeting. Niko Kovac arrived in the Principality in July 2020 and led the team 74 times. Monaco will announce the name of its new head coach very soon. Until then, Stéphane Nado, reserve coach, will train the first team.”

Kovac, 50, led Bayern to a Bundesliga and DFB Pokal double in 2019 having enjoyed a fruitful spell with Eintracht Frankfurt after overseeing the Croatia national team and Clement could be announced in time to see ASM in action against Quevilly-Rouen of Ligue 2 in the Coupe de France.

The principality outfit also completed the signing of Brazilian defender Vanderson from Grêmio as sporting director Paul Mitchell seeks to bolster the squad ahead of the second half of this term which could yet see Champions League qualification achieved.

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